This week my posts have focused on living in realness. I have described how the act of acknowledging and expressing my true feelings has been a critical part of my journey to grasp what really matters in life.
Today I share an experience that describes the inner peace and wholeness that can only come from embracing our scars and accepting our imperfections. And furthermore, that our mistakes of the past should not prevent us from living the way we want and deserve to live in the present.
It is never too late to make changes.
You are never too far gone to come back.
You are never too tarnished to be made new.
You are never too broken to be made whole.
It is never too late to start over.
And on this particular day, Easter Sunday, it seems like a fitting day to speak of miracles and new life.
May you find significance and hope in the words to follow…
I recently was blessed to meet a captivating woman and artist. A few weeks ago, I visited her home to select a piece of her extraordinary artwork.
While there, she candidly shared her own story. She has graciously given me permission to share it with you today.
Several years ago, Catherine Partain hit rock bottom. Emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally depleted, she was merely a shell of her former self. During that desolate time in her life, she felt an unmistakable calling to make crosses.
And so she did. And it became her life mission to make crosses unlike any other.
Catherine’s crosses are original works of art; each one possessing intricate detail and design that tells a compelling story that speaks to the soul. When held in the hands of the destined owner, the cross unexplainably calms hurts, doubts, and worries deep inside the heart. And through this calming peace, a clear vision of a brighter future is experienced; hope is found.
You would think an object that holds such tremendous presence would be made of polished silver, priceless gold, or perhaps smooth, unblemished wood.
That is not the case.
Catherine’s crosses are made from that which is jagged, ruined, tarnished and otherwise useless.
Catherine’s crosses are made from what most people would describe as waste, trash, unwanted and undesirable material.
Catherine’s crosses are made from scrap metal.
“When asked why she uses only scrap, Partain is quick to say, ‘Because I was that scrap.’ For Partain, the scrap represents the human soul, particularly her own—dirty and unclean and then redeemed through the cross. ‘Before this redemptive journey I had done everything wrong but realized I could be forgiven and made new,’ Partain says. ‘Now, the ugliest pieces I find are my favorites. I will reach down under the grime to get those burned, twisted pieces that you would at first think to pass over.’
It’s never too late to start over.
During my recent visit to Catherine’s home, I walked back and forth perusing the crosses that majestically lined walls of her entryway. As if my feet were being lead, I kept coming back and standing beneath this one. I was drawn to it. In my head one of my favorite Hands Free terms came to mind, “Perfect Imperfection.”
I looked at this cross that was so far from perfect in its material and in its form. Yet, it was the most beautiful cross I had ever seen. I could see every scar, every blemish, as well as the rough, tarnished edge. I could see beautiful realness.
I felt compelled to hold it against my chest and weep. Instead, I took the substantial, yet exquisite, cross off the wall and simply held it in my hands. It felt like home.
I looked at it in wonder and amazement knowing this immense symbol was once scrap, discard, waste. And now, because of its imperfections, it had become something tremendously meaningful and valuable.
It’s never too late to start over.
I remember the day I painfully admitted that my life had become that of a movie played in fast forward. I realized I was literally watching my life go by, not playing an active role in any of the parts that matter; I call those parts, “Sunset Moments.” I was missing my Sunset Moments one by one, never to be retrieved again.
On that painful day I got “real” with myself was the day I crumbled; it was the day I succumbed. My life as I knew it became a discarded piece of scrap that by the grace of God would be made new.
With the words, “I won’t live another day this way,” my new life began.
When I hold this heavy Cross of Imperfection in my hands, my heart feels light. If discarded trash can be made into a divine symbol of grace, love, forgiveness and redemption, then there is hope for me; there is hope for you.
And on this blessed Easter Sunday, may the thought of miracles and new life fill your heart with possibilities that only come when you allow yourself to live imperfectly, yet oh so beautifully, in realness.
*For information on obtaining one of Catherine’s extraordinary crosses, please go to her website: http://crossesbycatherine.com