In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they are still beautiful – Alice Walker
I love the hashtag #nothingisordinary; it speaks of detail, insight and beauty from the most overlooked things in life. I can easily hashtag a fallen leaf, a ticked off ‘to do’ list or completed pile of folded laundry (certainly not ordinary) but can we hashtag ourselves?
I grew up in a peaceful home in Yorkshire with God fearing parents who loved and nurtured my siblings and I all the same. I am the middle child; sister of an outgoing, bold and brilliant older brother and an incredibly talented, creative and feisty little sister. I was happy, content but just went with the flow of my ‘ordinary’ life. I was never a high achiever, pretty average across the board really, but scraped the exam results I needed to get me through to the next phase of education. I loved to sing and was part of the choir; I remember eagerly anticipating a performance that we had worked hard towards, on the day of the concert our soloist fell ill and the choir master needed a stand-in to do her part. I knew it well and had good singing ability, but they went with Claire, the head-girl at the time, because she could ‘project’. Fortunately my parents and my faith had instilled a strong spirit – I still sing to this day (smile) #quietgirlswins
I was never the prettiest, the thinnest or the trendiest girl; I discovered make-up later into my teens, finally got through my Gloria Estefan perm stage and only once wore my brothers jeans for a ‘non-uniform’ day because he was trendy (I was a bit before the times with the ‘boyfriend’ jeans trend).
I didn’t grow up in the world our children are facing today; I didn’t scroll through the daily outward expectations of society before breakfast but we all faced peer pressure, even without Pinterest. It’s not that different now, just deeper.
But I was ok with ‘ordinary’. I was ok because I knew a hidden work was taking place; it was whispered to me daily. I stayed close to His heart.
shy an untapped introvert with a deep developing soul life, I was loved, encouraged and actually, I never felt ordinary.
In Annie Dillard’s ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek‘ she intricately describes her 25 cent goldfish swimming around in his bowl on her desk as she writes. She unfolds the cellular make-up and the God formed gills of this very normal life form that lives in thousands of homes across the globe. Dillard’s description is a beautiful example of honing in on the ordinary and revealing the wonder.
And isn’t that what God does? He pays attention to the intricate design of who we are and what we’re made of; He fully and mindfully forms the finite detail of our lives.
Psalm 139 shouts louder than the screams from our screens; those words turn our wailing to wonder. He wants us to hear the click click click of those knitting needles that patterned our purpose and stitched our soul, but it doesn’t sound like the clash of metal on metal, it sounds like a heartbeat. His heartbeat.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb
So I’m sure that ‘ordinary’ isn’t a word that God ever uses to describe His kids but I know that He uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways.
You’re an ordinary wonder, created and to be celebrated; used and fused with the life YOU live and love.
So I guess it’s true, nothing is ordinary, and neither are you.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:2