green beans and working hands

I know before I write these thoughts that there is so much more to say. But, I'm only taking a short lunch break and have time to write my thoughts as they are.

On Saturday, my roommate headed home to do some laundry while I was still out doing my Saturday morning things. I stopped at the Farmer's Market on the way home and picked up some red/green peppers and fresh green beans. I headed back up to the 16th floor with my home-grown, farmer-friendly groceries and decided I needed to prepare the green beans for my coming week's lunches.

Memories came like a downpour: mom with a bag and a bowl on the side of Aunt Jane's swimming pool, talking, watching, and snapping peas from our garden... Or, mom bent over between the lush green rows as one brother zipped by on the lawn mower and another clanked and banged on metal in the nearby machine shed... Or my sister and I propped on the kitchen counter, yapping away as mom washed some of the green produce in the sink, preparing for an after-chore feast at 8:00.

I sat on my little sofa in my empty apartment with the soft sounds of some earthy Appalachian gals singing on my CD player. Beside me, a plastic bag full of the green, lanky beans still smelled of farm and garden and in front of me a large, silver bowl awaited the delicious bounty. I snapped and thought, discarding the bad and saving the good. Even the sound of the snap and the rhythm of my movements caused the corners of my mouth to stretch wide.

I loved it.

I know - how much can you get out of snapping some green beans? Well, a lot. There's something about using your hands... something about making good use of what you've got that just sends shouts of exhilaration through my fingertips.

The connection to my work today didn't escape me. I am currently writing about the Global Conference coming up in May that will be in the Dominican Republic. Our theme is Envisioning our Future: A World Transformed and we are using imagery and Scripture of the potter/clay.

How beautiful that God, too, delighted in the work of His hands! He so carefully and masterfully molds, shapes, and forms His creation for divine purposes. There are so many references to our being clay in God's hands, completely at the mercy of what He would create. In Romans 9:21, we read that God shapes us all for purposes, but who are we to say for what?

I could reflect on the beauty of these thoughts far longer than I have right now. I hope this brings someone a smile, though, just in contemplating how our working hands bring the Lord glory.