How do you feel about handmade gifts?
I've always hesitated to gift my own creations, believing them to be a little bit "less than."
Less valued than store-bought; less useful than a gift card;
less dazzling than whatever the most popular social influencer recommends--"swipe up!"
But this year, I'm feeling some freedom to give handmade.
So this morning I handled brittle antique sheet music and forced
myself to cut it, recalling how the pages were rescued from the trash.
Folding tattered edges into shape took extra time, but I didn't mind,
envisioning the final lovely outcome.
I shrugged aside qualms and pushed a wooden brace through
centenarian page layers, taking care not to waste a single scrap of print.
That's when phrases from Psalm 103 slid into the corner of my heart.
God forms you in the same way, the Spirit seemed to hint.
"For He knows our frame; He is mindful that we are dust."
He knows you're often fragile, brittle, tattered.
"As for man ... your days are like grass--blooming, vanishing, forgotten."
Yet He tenderly chooses you anyway, knowing the potential for glory exists.
"But from everlasting to everlasting the loving devotion
of the LORD extends to those who fear Him."
In unmatched patience, He shapes, folds, and fashions you into the
image of the blessing He intends to gift to others.
" ... we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do."
And just like the psalmist, my soul rose up in joy.
Bless the Lord ... bless the Lord ... bless the Lord.