3/28 Earthquake Update03.28.11

The last few months I’ve started a new hobby. It’s making washi (Japanese paper) eggs, thanks to a very kind and patient friend. First you blow the insides out of  the egg through small holes, rinse it, and let it dry. Then you cut paper to fit the exact size of the egg. Both edges are cut into many leaves which gently nest against each other over the curved ends of the egg. Then the paper is dampened with glue, gently and precisely nudged and tugged into place, and left to dry. After drying, the seams are pressed flat with the back of a spoon, and five layers of shellac are in turn brushed on and left to dry. Generally I have a small batch of eggs at each of the key stages- ready to paper, ready to spoon flat, and ready to shellac.

Neither of us had felt like making eggs since the earthquake, so the other day was a special treat. While the kids played, we drank chai, shared our worries, God’s faithfulness, and caught up on each other’s lives as our fingers slowly and carefully brought beauty out of scraps of paper, wet glue, and empty shells.

In the midst of all the chaos and destruction of the last few weeks, that quiet afternoon was an oasis, and the eggs became a symbol for me of something much bigger. Beyond the colors and patterns, beyond the satisfaction of sharing peaceful moments with a special friend, they became a symbol of my call to reflect the work of the Creator through my life. Order out of chaos, beauty out of emptiness. With one part of my mind I’ve understood this, but in the wake of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear problems, I hear it afresh. And like my egg making, it doesn’t come naturally, but is very worth the effort.

 

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Posted by Andrea Johnson under Uncategorized.

14 Responses to “3/28 Earthquake Update”

  1. I love it! Marvelous!

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    Posted by Caleb on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 10:36 PMReply

  2. I embrace that today. Thank you for your beautiful writing.

    Julie

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    Posted by Julie on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 11:04 PMReply

  3. Beautiful Andrea. I have been profoundly touched by your words in the last few weeks. Our hearts and prayers are with you.
    In Him,
    Julie,

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    Posted by Julie VanLeuven Millard on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 11:10 PMReply

    • Thanks Julie for remembering me and tracking me via the blog. Hope to catch up in real time this side of heaven!

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 4:54 PMReply

  4. I’ve made a few in the past and now they are on my table here for Easter. Glad you are finding relaxing positive things to do and wish I could join you for making and tea together!

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    Posted by Ronna on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 11:29 PMReply

    • Dear Caroline P. tried to teach me years ago at a retreat, but I was too young and impatient to actually finish one. I look forward to the tea and making them together with you someday.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 4:53 PMReply

  5. Aaaah, how refreshing to be reminded that God brings beauty from ashes and joy from mourning. I need to hear that. And i can’t help but think of how He is cradling your life in His palm just as you do your egg, as He goes about His work gently and thoughtfully, making such a beautiful piece of handiwork! Your eggs are so lovely (and think of how each started as a humble plain colored egg!), thank you for sharing.

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    Posted by Bridgett on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 12:08 AMReply

    • …I hadn’t noticed the image of being cradled gently in the palm of God’s hand. I needed that- thanks.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 4:49 PMReply

  6. Yesterday with my Chinese friends I was remembering Mom and her annual spring classroom presentations when we were in elementary school. She would come in and teach the class origami and sing something for (and probably with) us. I also remember at home, we would take eggs and punch the hole and blow them out. We never did the fancy paper step (the eggs in your pictures look beautiful!!!), but we enjoyed dyeing them.

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    Posted by Katherine P. on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 12:46 AMReply

    • Next time you come to Japan (or I make it to your city) I’d love to make them together with you in honor of Karen.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 4:49 PMReply

  7. THis is really a beautiful reflection Andrea, to say nothing of the beauty of the eggs you have made! You remain in my prayers!

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    Posted by myrna olson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 3:10 AMReply

  8. I love the beautiful flower patterns!

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    Posted by Kristine on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 8:47 AMReply

  9. Wonderful message Andrea, like God’s peace in the storm!
    May His peace be ALWAYS with all of you I pray!

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    Posted by JulieH(Seattle) on 12/13/09 March 30th, 2011 at 2:01 AMReply

  10. You are so inspiring. Your faith is so evident in everything you do and for that you are an inspiration to me. If only I could be like that…. I enjoy reading EVERYTHING you write and I continue to pray for all of you!

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    Posted by Tricia Kelliher on 12/13/09 April 8th, 2011 at 2:36 AMReply

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