Zeph Daily 11 – Everything Beautiful in its Time…

Morning Zephyrs! It’s Julie here – and I’ve got a little challenge for you…

I’m fascinated by mudlarking – hunting for hidden historical treasures on the Thames foreshore that have been preserved by the river mud. I’ve never actually been, but it’s on my bucket list! Here are three examples of the kinds of things mudlarks have found – any guesses what/how old they are?

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Some answers for you! Top left is a fossilized sea urchin and could be hundreds of millions of years old.

Top right is a genuine Roman lamp discovered in the Thames mud a few years ago – and almost thrown away as the mudlark assumed it was a forgery!

Bottom is a wooden shoe patten and buckle, also from the Thames mud, c.1710-1720 – correctly identified by Jenny as a thing to keep your feet out of the mud and dirt (and correctly dated too!) – ironic that it should end up preserved in the London mud!

Amazing that such fascinating, ancient things should be so well-preserved and, all these years after they were made for use, have a new beauty all of their own…

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When Julia led Zeph@10 on Tuesday, using the passage from Ecclesiastes 3, a line jumped out at me that I’d never noticed before, in verse 11:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

That same day, I came across a post in my Facebook memories. It was five years since I took my eldest daughter to visit our friend, Heidi, at Wakefield Cathedral, where she worked. We spent most of the visit collecting discarded candle wax at my daughter’s insistence – all the bits that had melted, dripped off the candles, then re-solidified at the bottom of the metal holders. The bits that would normally eventually get thrown away.

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I don’t know what made her notice and want to collect all those broken pieces of unwanted wax. She saw something in them that I didn’t. I didn’t see any beauty in them; but she did…

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Sometimes, we all feel a bit like those melted, discarded, re-formed pieces of unwanted wax; and when we do, God looks at us the way my daughter looked at the wax, he sees something in us that we don’t, he sees the potential for beauty. He doesn’t wait for us to be perfect.

WATCH: Anyway – Nichole Nordeman

Or read the lyrics here… https://genius.com/Nichole-nordeman-anyway-lyrics

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We’d gone to visit Heidi because she was getting married. And when we got home, my daughter announced that she wanted to use the wax she’d collected to make Heidi a wedding present.

So, we dug out my candle-making kit and set to work.

We melted the remnants of discarded wax and died them red. Set the wick. Poured the melted wax into a spherical mould. There wasn’t enough Cathedral wax to fill it, so we melted some new wax to top it up. Then we left it to set…

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The finished candle was a perfect sphere of two halves – the lower part smooth, new, bright red wax; the upper part perfectly, beautifully imperfect, reclaimed wax made new.

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We wrapped it up, popped it in a gift bag, and gave it to Heidi on her wedding day. And, although we occasionally remembered our Cathedral visit with a smile, we never really gave the candle much thought. Until a couple of days ago…

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You see, on Wednesday, five years to the day since we’d collected the wax, the same day I noticed that line in Ecclesiastes 3:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time”

– That same day, our Cathedral memory popped up in Heidi’s Facebook too and she left a comment:
“We just finished burning this the other day! It’s been lit on our table at tea time as we pray for and remember key workers and those who are ill.”

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What a beautiful destiny for that unwanted, almost unnoticed, discarded wax! When we collected and melted and poured and set and wrapped and gave that wax, five years ago, we had no idea that now, in these times, it would be giving light and shining strong as prayers were said for those who are suffering and those who are helping in these troubled times.

Everything Beautiful

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When the words we have and the prayers we say and the actions we take seem too small, too insignificant to be worth anything, may we remember this:

God can take the least wanted, the most useless things and turn them into things of beauty in his world, in their time.

We pray, now, for our world, for our communities, for those people and situations on our hearts, in faith that God can turn our small prayers into something beautiful. Add your prayers…

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Now go, like the repurposed old wax candles you are, and let your lights shine – “He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

WATCH: This Little Light of Mine – John Froud

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