This is what God the LORD says— he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42:5-7 (NIV)
Last weekend, we went to the Gulfport Art Walk with our friends, Patrick and Bethany. We were celebrating Bethany’s birthday, and I had been planning the evening for over a month. I heard that on the first Friday of the month at the Industrial Arts Center in Gulfport, you can blow glass. Bethany is a Jill of all trades, or put in fancier terms, a renaissance woman. She is a horse trainer, blacksmith, beekeeper, and master gardener. She also makes saddles, bread and soap. Not necessarily at the same time. I know that the best way to make Bethany happy is to give her something new to learn. As soon as I heard about the glass blowing, I knew that it would be something that she would love. I teased her by not telling her where we were going. My great worry was that we would not be able to blow the glass. The center opened at 6 and took names on a waiting list. We wouldn’t arrive until 7. What would I do if we were too late? However, there was still room left and after a pleasant hour wandering among the crafts vendors, it was our turn. Bethany went first, then me and afterwards, Patrick. Husband preferred to watch. With the help of the glass blowers who scooped out some molten glass on a tube, we rolled our almost liquid glass into chips of colored glass we chose. Then, depending on whether we wanted blotches or swirls, we rolled the glass either side to side or around on a flat metal plate. Afterwards, it was back into the furnace where we had to keep the glass moving in a circle to keep it from dripping off the tube. It was then that the tube was placed on a stanchion, and we were told to blow. Bethany and Patrick found it difficult to get that first bubble, but with all the asthma medicines I take, it was a piece of cake for me! Once you get your first air bubble, the glass blowers work their magic with some metal tools to get the circle just right. Then, you blow again creating a lovely glass ball. The glass blowers put a loop on the end so that we can hang them, and put them in a kiln to anneal. I went to pick them up today, and they are beautiful. Each one is unique. I was fascinated to think that my breath is now captured forever within that sphere. It reminded me that within each one of us is the breath of God. Just as I created my ball with my breath, he breathes life within each of us. We are all different, yet, we have the same purpose: to walk with Him and help others come to know Him as well. I will cherish my glass ball not only as a reminder of a fun night with dear friends, but of Who gives me life and purpose.