For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:21

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Art of Awareness ~ agape

"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, 
not with the fanfare of epiphany, 
but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and 
slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."
Khaled Hosseini, Kite Runner

Pretty Things

Many thanks to Lori and Heather for coordinating this occasion that brings awareness, presence and understanding to many human conditions and life challenges.  Each artist was invited to select a meaningful word, representative color or a person to honor in an artistic creation while shedding light on some area of challenge or struggle. I personally have used this time of creation to feel more deeply the blessings of my life, many of which have been the result of times of struggle. I look forward to witnessing to the journeys and discoveries of the other artists who have poured their hearts and souls into their creations.  I invite you to join me by following the links at the end of this post.

I asked Heather to create a forest green bead with the word agape' on it.  Her work is so beautiful and inspired me tremendously in my artistic endeavor. 

I chose this word because of a recent struggle with cruelty and abandonment by the very people I should be able to trust.  I chose green because it is a color for those battling depression and also symbolizes peacefulness and renewal.  My road out of the darkness and despair from this traumatic time is teaching me so many things and helping me to identify areas in my life that I need to improve in . . . mostly the ability to forgive and to love more fully . . . unconditionally.  Through my work, I strive to become a stronger, wiser, more gentle person. 

AGAPE ~ unconditional love

My piece is based on a design by the amazing Susan Schwartzenberger and I feel that it represents the immense power that flows from those who love freely.  I choose muted rainbow colors that spoke to me of hope and possibility in my continued journey and the work I need to do.  The golden crystals remind me of God's presence in my life and the thankfulness I have for His guidance through the darkness.

We know that forgiveness is not optional--

we are to forgive as we have been forgiven.
But forgiveness is not natural.
It goes against everything that cries out for fairness.
The thing that we need to forgive often involves pain--
from the sting of an unkind word to the 
deep gash left by an abusive relationship.
We are often left holding the pain, 
knowing the one whom we must forgive
will likely not acknowledge nor ask for it.

While we cannot afford to dwell on pain for too long,

we cannot afford to ignore it either.
We live in a fallen world where everyone
has experienced the pain of wrong choices.
When the wrong involves a violation of trust, 
or results in a life altering consequence, 
it can become even harder to forgive.

Then Peter came to him and asked, 

“Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins 
against me? Seven times?" "No, not seven times,"
Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!"
Matthew 18:21-22

I have a responsibility to forgive . . . even if it is daily seventy times seven.  Only then will I truly understand and achieve agape . . . unconditional love.

Thank you for visiting my wanderware blog site.  Check out the Art of Awareness blog posts of these artists:
Millican (hostess) (bead artist)
Laurie Vyselaar
Mallory Hoffman
Evie and BethMcCord


  1. I know from experience forgiveness can be a hard thing to achieve, especially when you're in pain. Your necklace is a beautiful tribute to both forgiveness and unconditional love. Thank you for sharing your design and story. ♥

  2. Beautiful necklace, I am sorry for your pain and hope things get better soon.

  3. Chris what a beautiful post. I too have seen the darkness. It was really dark and I was not sure I wanted to climb out. Your word is meaningful to so many of us, but particularly to you, and the frame you gave it is just amazingly beautiful. It is tiresome forgiving, and I'm not very good at it, but wish you strength as you move forward.

  4. Your necklace is beautiful in color, design and meaning. I wish you much light as you continue your journey.

  5. Beautiful, beautiful necklace and sentiment!

  6. Forgiving, one of the hardest things to do. Many years later the lack of forgiveness, whether given or received, can come back like a blow. Being able to do so takes an inner strength though and you have shown us it is possible. Best wishes in your journey forward

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  8. A powerful story. I agree, forgiving is one of the hardest things to learn and do. I wish you lots of inner strength and wisdom in your journey.

  9. Love the shades of color you used in your beads and the word bean is just perfect the way you incorporated it. Thank you for your story and best wishes!

  10. This is such a lovely piece and such a strong sentiment. Im sorry that you had to go though all this and I hope things get better for you, love

  11. I am amazed at the strength of this piece. And the " bean " is so perfect. There are so many of us that have faced the darkness of life. As always - you have presented it so well. Many hugs - much love.

  12. A beautiful piece! And I love how you laid out this idea of forgiving. Right now I am going through a rough time in our 34th year of our marriage and I can say it is not so easy to forget when actions and words hurt so much. I am so glad that I know God is with me along the way.

  13. What a gorgeous necklace, so powerful. What a beautiful bean.

  14. What an amazingly beautiful necklace and what a wonderful word you chose.

  15. Your design is beautiful and so inspiring! What a wonderful word and story. I am so glad you are healing and on the road to being well and happy. Thank you for sharing your story.