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Lost Among the Trees

For April my embroidery group provided items to display for St. Stephen’s monthly Art Loop participation.

It was a reminder to me that we sometimes find ourselves lost among the trees.

There are people who love to look at paintings. They can see the brush strokes, understand the color blending, examine how a certain figure is shaped. I look at paintings and know I either like it or I don't. The details escape me.

Embroidery is different for me. I love looking at the detail. I can spend considerable time looking at the stitches, the threads and materials used, the ways that figures and shapes are created.

I had several pieces on display, and I was able to hear the comments that people made on Sunday mornings.

I forgot that sometimes I'm lost among the trees and I'm missing the forest.

I like the pieces I had on display, or I wouldn't have brought them to show. But, because I'm so familiar with them, I forgot the impact they might have on others.

I was stunned to hear the comments about some of my pieces. For me they’re things around the house. The lamp has a place, the other pieces have been sitting in the hallway for ages waiting to be hung. I can tell you roughly how long they took me to stitch. That’s just my time. What else would I have been doing, staring at the TV?

When I start to add a monetary value to my time, the value of the pieces becomes staggering.

I forget that. Time is something that has value. What we do with our time has an impact.

We forget that and we tend to humbly diminish the value of what we do.

"Oh, that's no big deal." "Oh, it wasn't hard." "No, it's not out of the way." We’re walking among the trees and missing the forest. What we do has the potential to have an impact on others.

I like to joke that the disciples were amazingly clueless. But really, they were probably just so wrapped up in their daily interactions with Jesus that they couldn't see the big picture of the message Jesus was sharing with the people through words and actions. Jesus had a huge impact on those he interacted with once or twice, but the disciples were too close to see that.

Enjoy walking among the trees, but step outside once in a while and enjoy the forest.

- Ann Iona Warner

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