On any given day in recent weeks, I’ve noticed that our kitchen island can become a fulfillment center.
The transformation is typically brief: no longer than it takes for my Beloved to painstakingly wrap and box the hand-crafted art piece she’s sold – before sending it off to who-knows-where.
It’s kinda fun to see it all happen…to see how much TLC my wife puts into packing each order, how laser-focused on “customer service” she becomes when a sale is recorded, and – yes – how a little piece of her heart inevitably accompanies the transaction.
This all comes as the result of the cottage business she launched with our daughter a few months back, a venture that adds a commercial framework to their artistic pastimes. Gerri’s specialty is mosaics – fashioning attractive wall hangings and tabletop objects from materials that others have discarded.
In short, she literally turns trash into treasure.
The idea for the business came about when these objets d’arts started to outnumber the tabletops and wall spaces that were available for decorating in our home. So why not share the bounty with others – perhaps even perfect strangers? The internet makes just such a business model possible…as long as you’re willing to turn the kitchen counters into an order fulfillment center from time to time.
And this week, I was reminded how an act of transformation can in fact become a spiritual movement. We see it happen in the gospel proclaimed on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana.
Note how, when this miracle occurs, it’s no pedestrian vintage that results:
…the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”
But the first step in the transformation typically requires our attentiveness: “Do whatever he tells you.” Our attentiveness, and perhaps also our faith – a bit of confidence in the idea that God might actually be asking me, of all people, to bear a bit of grace and beauty to the world. This is not at all an outrageous concept, according to St. Paul – as he points out in his letter to the community at Corinth:
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
And if you think about it, this probably means every one of us ought to find ourselves running some sort of fulfillment center from time to time – looking for a way to share our particular gift with a world very much in need.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.