Lemonade and Paper Roses

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“When life gives you lemons … make lemonade paper roses”

According to recipes I’ve seen on the web, making lemonade is a fairly messy, fairly lengthy business – you’re scrubbing and zesting lemons, squeezing juice, adding boiling water, leaving overnight, adding sugar, bottling in sterilised bottles, etc., etc., etc.  Now, as my wife will testify, I cause chaos in the kitchen whenever I cook; every dish, saucepan, utensil will lie strewn across the worktops when I’m making beans on toast for heaven’s sake – me making lemonade?  Kitchen Armageddon guaranteed.

And then there’s also the feeling of ,”Okay, I’ve got my lemonade, but now I’ve also got a load of cleaning up to do as well!”

Yes, I know the point of the whole “make lemonade” response to life’s lemons (whatever they are for you) is to have a positive, creative response to the difficulties of life, but I sometimes find it a bit twee; you see, making the lemonade actually consumes the lemons and you throw away the left-overs.  That’s why I prefer to make paper roses …

I started to learn Origami when I was little – around six or seven or so – and an idea that sprung at me when I finally learnt to make a ‘Kawasaki Rose’

Making something beautiful from a simple, plain square of paper is quite inspiring for me – you fold it, crease it, leave your mark upon it.  You can form intermediary bases (places where different possibilities wait to be expressed), you can reverse things, stretch things and manipulate them in all manner of ways to produce models and objects – birds, boxes, bears, beatles, and all manner of things that don’t even begin with the letter ‘B’ – the list is practically endless.  But at the heart of it all is that transformative process, taking a square piece of paper and sculpting something different from it.

Each crease stays in the paper, each fold leaves its mark, each wrinkle, each pleat remains at the end – but it’s that very process that changes the square into the rose.

For instance, let’s start with this piece of paper … let’s put some folds in that!

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For me, each event, each mistake, each moment of understanding, or of confusion, each success, each wonderful surprise, each everything leaves a mark, a line, a crease in us – that’s the transformation.

Mind you, not every crease, is painless – in fact hardly any are – but they form us nonetheless.

Scripture says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him …”  (Romans 8:28).  Maybe, sometimes, that ‘working for the good’ involves some creasing, some folding, some marks along the way.

Maybe the secret is to learn to hold the ‘folds’ in us – not to try to undo the process, but to engage with it and see it through to the end result.

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Then maybe, we can look at what that process taught us, about us, about the situation, about how we were transformed … maybe by the “renewing of our minds” (Rom 12:2) or even “into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” (” Cor. 3:18)

Into something … unexpected

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4 responses to “Lemonade and Paper Roses

  1. Ooooh this is brilliant – love how you have taken pics of each stage (still couldn’t copy it though!) I LOVE your paper roses. 🙂 and a great and encouraging message.

  2. Love this – I did some origami as a kid too – my favourite was a bird with flapping wings which I once tried with a class of 35 10 year olds – chaos! – but I really like the imagery that you’ve used here. Brilliant.

  3. Pingback: Grumpy 77 | Red Setter Christian·

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