God Uses Everything
Chaos! Turning on the news feels like preparing oneself for an onslaught. Crisis here, scandals there, and so many things you thought you had a handle on are now up for grabs. For spiritual people finding God in the midst of the craziness proves a challenge to say the least.
Mary White, a former volunteer here in the Solanus Center Gift Shop, once offered an image for the state of affairs with a perspective from both our world and heaven (a place out of time and space). Mary said that she often looked at the big picture as a woven tapestry. She said from our limited perspective in this world, we see the underside of the tapestry which is a chaotic mess of loose strands crisscrossing in no apparent pattern. Strands stop and other ones pick up. Here a mismatched array of colors corresponds to the various hues of life experiences. From our earthly human perspective it appears messy to say the least.
“Once we are fully able to see from God’s perspective,” Mary would explain, “We will view the tapestry from the other side and will be astounded at how everything fits.” The tape
stry now displays the meaning and purpose for the chaotic mess on the underside. It was necessary.
This is a helpful image when facing the chaotic parts of our lives too. Events will happen in our lives that don’t make any sense at the time, but later as things come to light, we see exactly how the event was important. In Fr. Solanus’ life a whole lot would have been different if his marriage proposal had been allowed to proceed or if he had had stellar grades in the seminary. All those moments that seemed like huge disappointments paved the way for him to end up as the porter of the monastery. As the porter, Fr. Solanus was able to reach people’s lives and extend God’s miraculous care.
Sometimes we can weave the threads to make a situation better. When the Great Depression hit, Fr. Solanus saw it as an opportunity to draw more people into the service of others by initiating the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. With the helpful hands of the Secular Franciscans and other Capuchin Brothers a continued presence of sustaining nutritious food for folks on the eastside of Detroit was set in place.
There are, however, strands that make no sense and seem to be totally out of place. In these moments we can only turn to God in trust and believe that in God’s love and power, our loose or broken strands will be woven into the tapestry which is God’s Masterpiece. Romans 8:28 tells us that for those who love God all things will work unto good. We must take God at His word and hold onto the hope that God uses EVERYTHING!
submitted by: Sally McCuen
Hospitality Coordinator at the Solanus Casey Center