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Life is Like a Bowl of Beads

By Linda Wescott


(This post is inspired by the kind of beadwork I learned to do from the people of Yakutat, Alaska.)

You’ve heard it said that life is just a bowl of cherries? Or is it that life is NOT just a bowl of cherries? Well, I prefer to think that life is more like a big bowl of beads, filled with bright little pieces of creative energy and multi-colored potential, just waiting to be used.

In bursts of red and yellow, pearl white and sparkling gold; in shades of purple and pink, blue and green; I see these little beads as sparks of faith and hope that can come together to raise our spirits and bring joy to our hearts. But that’s up to us.

Let’s say that each bead is like a little piece of God-given potential, waiting for us to give life to it. We can bring that potential to life in a beautifully-crafted design, or we can sit overwhelmed by the possibilities. We can even convince ourselves that we have no creative talent, or that the work is better done by someone else. But our Creator God continues the creation through us. God’s creative power flows through us, like the beading thread flows through the beads and guides them.

But God has given us a choice. We can open ourselves up to God’s power and give life to things that are nurturing and beautiful and life enhancing. Or we can close ourselves to God’s loving potential and give life to things that are deadly and ugly and self-destructive.

Perhaps life is like a big bowl of beads, full of possibility and creative potential. But without a good pattern to guide the placement of the beads upon the felt or hide to which they are sewn, the finished product might be without any clear design or meaning.

And so it is with life.

But if we follow the pattern of love that God has given us in the Gospel message, every bead that we add to our thread will help create new hope and a new vision for our world.