(Andrei Rublev, 15th century Russia)
I love to sew. My latest wardrobe addition is a calf-length street kimono of black burn-out silk velvet brilliant with peacocks and flowers. It is striking, if I say so myself, and garners compliments from all my friends. Not that I made it for their approval; after all, I myself relish the petal-soft brush of the fabric on my skin, the glimpse of its luxurious hues reflected back at me from my mirror. But outward beauty allows me to communicate to my fellows how I feel and who I am inside. My urge to create beauty in order to be known is a shadow of the creative nature of Him who made me.
God, the Eternal Three-in-One who enjoyed perfect and complete divine communion within the fellowship of Himself, yet wanted to be intimately known by humanity. And so the Father clothed His Son in the robe of flesh that the Spirit wove together in Mary’s womb. In His artistry, God projected the express image of Himself through Christ to show us His essence in something we could scarcely stand to glimpse—the promise of eternity transferred through the incarnation of His beloved Son.
I often think of how Jesus, leaving His home of heaven to tread upon our terrestrial dirt, must have suffered profound loss even while He gained the perspective of physicality. Wouldn’t He have just plain missed the Father in His great stoop earthward? I know it’s not quite the same but I, too, have recently suffered profound loss, although in human relationship. The velvety intimacy I once enjoyed, so integrated with my vision of hearth and home, has been tucked away in a drawer I can’t seem to open, out of my sight, its saturated colors invisible to me for a time. I just plain miss my loved ones.
In Hebrews 1:10-12 (ESV), the writer tells of a promise the Father made to His Son that, by extension through spiritual adoption and my sisterhood with Jesus, has implications for me as well:
You [Jesus] laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.
One day, after folding up the worn-out cloak of creation and changing it for something new, the Son will reign as King forever. And I will be there for an everlasting future with Him in communion with the others He has likewise dressed in His robe of righteousness.
Human creativity is only derivative, and our brokenness is only temporal. The One who first brought cosmos out of chaos holds the warp and weft of the universe together by the power of His word. When our relationships in the earthly realm fall apart like moth-eaten garments, we can trust that He who dresses the fields beyond Solomon’s splendor allows no act in this life to go without ultimate meaning in His sight. That locked-up drawer will one day open, but this time we’ll put on perfect communion.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its way to realms of day,
This my song throughout the ages: Jesus led me all the way. (Fanny Crosby, 1875)