Light fixture at Anthropologie

“It’s made of zip ties.”

I looked at the picture Melody was showing me. A light fixture from the fun and funky store Anthropologie. There was no way I could tell it was made of zip ties.

An inexpensive fastener made of nylon, these would become the parts of a hanging decoration Melody was fashioning for our conference. Pinterest shows a plethora of crafts made from zip ties.

Not being a Pinterest kind of a gal, I hadn’t heard a lot about zip ties and their creative uses. Except police shows where they use them to cuff criminals.

Mel has been an integral part of the artistic team making this conference as pleasing to the eye as to the soul. Our surroundings play a large part in how we take in information, so she’d been intent to find ways to create beauty on a budget.

“How’re you planning on making these bendy stick things look like that?”

“You hook them together like a chain. We’re gonna get some of the kids to help.”

Kids helping with anything necessary was an issue waiting to be crabbed about.

No small numbers either. She wanted three and a half million zip ties. Had to settle for 100,000.

She flexed.

She wasn’t just talking about making chains. They had to create the structure that would be used to hang it. All of it happening in a huge tent on campus.

She and her husband Chris rolled up their sleeves and worked with the team on a project that was bigger than art.

Huge plastic rectangles were first hooked together on the grass, like those huge soft foam puzzle mats, to make a solid floor. Furniture would be spread throughout the tent.

The sides and roof went up next, making a cozy enclosed outdoor space.

Mel and her team went to work constructing the hanging art. Gathering the chains and aligning them on the floor of the tent. Building the structure. Affixing the chains to the structure.

Details. Planning. Execution.

It promises to be incredible when it’s done.

It hasn’t worked out as Mel originally thought. They’ve had to assess the materials, work with what they’ve had available and flex with the structure.

Just because it won’t look the way they’d planned doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful.

I’m a work in progress. Every day I get the chance to grow and become more of the person I want to be.

The person God knows I can be.

I can choose to develop my character which could make me a more gracious person. More like Jesus. Or I can choose to diminish the person I am with poor choices. Becoming more selfish and entitled.

Things won’t always work according to my plans. I may be short on my personal zip ties, which would necessitate a change.

Life is full of the need to flex. Change happens. I don’t always welcome it, but God has a knack of using what I don’t expect to make me stronger, more resilient. More flexible.

That kind of character building increases the value of this work in progress.

6 responses »

  1. Barbara Culwell says:

    What a great reminder and visual!!

  2. Yes we are! But sometimes I feel more like the pictures on “Pinterest Fail” websites!

  3. Jan Gidel says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the work of art and the artist’s mom! At the Des Moines airport!

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