A New Day, Dear Love, Healing From the Inside Out, Love Story, The Plans He Has for You

In The Lap of Love

It started with a problem. With two. With four. Multiplying and adding up until soon like bees they swarmed around my head. And there were so many, so many that stung. I remember crying. I remember biting my tongue to keep the tears from coming. I remember the chin tremors, the heaving shoulders. I remember it was all just too much. And I was mad. I was so mad. Angry. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. Burned out. Confused. Tired. Sad. Grieving. Yes, I was all of those. And more.

And so much more.

Everything felt wrong. Everything felt heavy. I had worked it over and over in my head. I had thought through a million different options. A million different answers. A million different exercises and choices and things that could work or may not but at least I could say I had tried. But in the end they all felt like that thing we can’t make sense of. That thing between a rock and a hard place. They all felt stuck. And so I kept thinking, and I kept trying, but mostly I just kept crying. Because it was hard. It is hard. And it didn’t make sense. It didn’t make sense how He could see all of this. See me go through all of this, and just do nothing. Why wasn’t He doing something? Why wasn’t He stepping in and fighting for me? Because I was tired, and I was weak and suddenly it was all too much. And I couldn´t make any sense of it. Didn´t want to. I was too burned out to put any more thought into it, and yet it was the only thing I could think about.  Just this rock. Just this hard place. I couldn’t see any other thing. And so we talked, Jesus and I. We talked and I poured out my heart. Poured out my fears. Poured out every ounce of me that couldn’t handle this life. And He just sat there, and listened to me. Like He always does. He´s always open to listen to me. Even when it’s what I think I shouldn’t be saying. He sat there and He listened to me.  And suddenly I found myself saying something I never expected to say.

“Jesus it was so much easier for you than it is for me.You had no problems”

I don’t know where I was going with this thought but suddenly, like a snowball, it just rolled out of me, growing bigger and bigger as I spoke. It felt like blasphemy. But it also felt so right. And so I kept it. And I chewed on it like a wound on the side of a cheek. And whether or not I wanted to it was something I kept finding myself going back to. It didn’t seem right and yet I couldn’t see a fault in it.

No problems…

No problems.

I chewed.

And it stung

I chewed again.

And like truth always does, something resonated.

No problems.

Yes, somehow I think that’s right. It felt so wrong to say, but the more I looked, the more I confirmed.

And so I thought back. Looked back. Compared. I looked at His life. I looked at mine. And then back to His. I compared and compared until I couldn’t do it anymore. Me and Jesus. My life. His life. All my pains, and all my blessings. All my loss. All my gain. All His pains. All His blessing. All His loss. All His gain. It didn’t make sense. In every comparison I came out the winner.  

I lie night after night in a bed made up with pillows and blankets, and He continually had no place to lay His head.  I have never had to think of where a meal was coming from, even in the tightest  days. And yet, I think how many times did He have to look to the mercy of others. How often did He change out his garments, buy new ones. I thought of my closet, full and overflowing. He never had a full time job, never kept an incoming salary, and yet, yet there was something more. His life was indeed exceeding and abundant. His life was joy.  His life was happiness.  His life was abundant. It didn’t make sense. But I couldn’t stop coming back to it.

No problems.

No problems.

Yes, of that I was sure. Jesus had no problems.

And so, there must be something more.

I looked over His life again.

“What am I missing?” I asked Him. “What is it that I can’t see?” I looked. I looked again. My brain chewed on those thoughts soon creating a knob of mental flesh.  Quietly, He spoke. “The Father.”

The Father. You had the Father.

I looked back over His life, and I finally saw what I never saw before. I finally saw the difference between Him and me. The everyday difference. Everyday. ¨You spent everyday in the lap of your Father. You spent every day in the lap of Love. It wasn’t just desire. It was necessity. He was your life source. Love was your life source.¨

I and the Father are one. Even as you, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.

I and the Father are one.

Could it have been more than just a declaration of divinity? Could I really have read it wrong all these years. Could it have been a declaration of identity? A declaration of security?

Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we exist through him.

It was so much more. He had no problems. He trusted in His Father. Looked to His Father. No, there were no problems. Trials? Temptations? Pain? Suffering? Yes, absolutely. But not problems. How could there be?  He sat every day in the lap of Love. Trusted every iota to the Giver of good gifts. Communed continually with Jehovah Jireh. If He didn’t have then His Father would provide. Either through the power of the Holy Spirit, or generosity of those around Him. And if He knew there would always be provision, then there was nothing to fear. And with no fear, there are no problems.

When there is no fear there are no problems.

I chewed again. It was a meaty thought. And suddenly, I began to digest.

Problems aren’t really problems. Problems are only moments of fear. Moments in which we can’t see the way out. But perfect love casts out fear. And when we soak in the reality of Love we have no fear. And with no fear comes no problems. Every problem is just the inability to see His provision. Every problem. Every problem is just a moment of fear. Every problem.  But when we walk through the problems. When we see what we are truly afraid of, light shines in and darkness is overwhelmed. When we walk through problems so that we may sit in the lap of He Who Is Love, when we talk out our fears and see that He holds them in His hand, that He carries us past our problems, past the wilderness and into promise, then fear is conquered and we are left only to love. Only to be in love. Only to soak in its fragrance. Only to find joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. And when we walk through our problems and collapse in the presence of Love we gain boldness and courage and days are no longer weary, and nights are no longer long. When we walk through our fears and into the presence of God the Father, when we learn how to sit in His lap and depend, consist, survive off His love, we find the provision rather than the problem. And when we find the provision, life begins to happen.

Walls begin to crumble. Hurt begins to heal. Color begins to shine.

When there is no fear there are no problems only provision. And when we find the provision, life begins to happen.

John 10: 30 |    John 17 :21|   I Corinthians 8:6

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Detoxify, Healing From the Inside Out, The Plans He Has for You, The Vulnerable Side

This

Lord, This is hard.

This.

Miss Wankeral, my grammar teacher, told me to never leave a “this” alone. “A marriage is always necessary”, she says. “It must have a partner”. This rock. This doll. This something. But what is the “this” in this situation. This time. This trial. This learning. This acknowledgment. This job. This task. Yes, all of those. And more, I suppose. You are drawing me out. That is a truth I know. You are drawing me out and taking me to someplace new. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Yes, you are taking me to someplace new. A place of healing. A place of still waters and green pastures. You’re teaching me to walk away from the things of this world. Be in the world but not of the world, You say. That has always been so hard to understand. But I am finally starting to understand it. It means to let go of everything I see but cannot understand and to hold on to everything I cannot see but can understand. Let go of culture, let go of things, let go of people, let go of money, let go of dreams. Hold onto your love, your joy, your peace, Hold onto You.

Yes, this is hard. It is hard to give it all over to You. Yes, the hard things are the things I’m not ready to give over to You. There, that’s the truth. That is the “this”. The grammar that exposes my heart. This is hard, this giving over is hard. This letting go of the hope that my way could be better than Your way. I don’t want to give up my comfort. I don’t want to give up my choices. I don’t want to bend my back to Your will, to surrender to every possibility. I want to keep this fist clenched, and this is the hard. The faith to trust that Your will is better, every time. The faith to believe that despite what I hunger and crave it may not always be what is best for me. The truth that being in the world is not the same as being of the world.

I don’t want to give these things up, especially not to You. Because if I give them up to You, I know that You may not give them back to me. These relationships. These comforts. These indulgences. These desires. These things I want so much even though I know, secretly, they only hurt me. These images I have of myself, of where I should be heading. There they are again. My should be’s and want to’s. Oh how they creep.

Come unto me, You say. Come to me and I will give you rest. Yes, You are right. It is exhausting; juggling all my desires on spinning out of control plates. Fooling myself into believing that a tight grip on my desires equates to a tight grip on control, a tight grip on life. I have no control. And maybe I have life, but what kind of a life is it? It is not an abundant one, not with this fist so tight. Not with these plates spinning, always spinning, and falling off, and flying off. And where did that one go? And how did I forget to watch this one? And when did that one break?  Yet still I cling, except when I cling so desperately to anything but You, nothing goes the way I hope for.  And the very medicine I need is the very medicine I pull back from.

Surrender.

No, it does not taste good. And rather than swallow, I choose to hold it in my mouth, continually tasting the bitter I so believe it to be rather than giving it chance to soothe and heal. Come unto me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. You know me so well. Yes, I am weary. Weary of the conditions of this world. Weary of what culture says I must be, how much money I must make, what I need to be happy. Weary of how this disease drags and pulls and blurs. Yes, I am weary. And the burden grows with each clench of my fist. And the very thing I hold to is the very thing that causes this disease to spread. I came that they may have life, and have it to the full. A full life, that is what you want for me. A full life, full of every possibility. Why then do I let this fear grow inside of me? Why do I tell myself that surrender brings loss? Why do I choose to ignore truth. Because surrender sews possibility. It is a door not a wall.

I swallow the stuff.

I swallow the liquid medicine I have held onto for so long. I swallow and let it soothe, let it coat. I swallow the medicine and realize it is not so bitter. Come unto me, You say. Oh Jesus, let me come, here I am. Take me. Take my heart, take my desires, take these plates. I reach out to you and with it I realize I have let go. These hands no longer make fists. These hands, clenched for so long are now open. Open for possibility, open for life, open to hold Yours. And as you take my hand, I feel it. I feel that balm, as it coats and soothes, warming my innards, the deepest places of me. Warming all that is in and around me. This balm that sinks to the bowels of my heart. This balm that instantly heals. This abundant balm. And as it sinks I realize it’s not as hard as I thought. And as it heals I realize that my this has changed. Yes, my this has changed. And there is no more hard, there is only easy. There is only rest. There is only You. There You are. Come unto me, You say, Come unto me and I will give you rest.

And oh!  What a rest it is.

Isaiah 43:19| John 17:16| Matthew 11:28 | John 10:10 

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Adventure Makers, Gospel, life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Plans He Has for You

Let Down Your Nets

He does not call us to the easy, you and me. He never promised it even once. Put out into the deep, He says. Put out into the deep, let down your nets for a catch.  No, He does not call us to the easy. But neither does He call us to the small. His desire for us is to have a bountiful catch. More so than I could ever want for myself. More so than you could ever imagine for yours. But the call requires the necessity of the deep. And so we must, in order to have gain, reach deep into deep. We must go into the unknown, the unseen, the murky, and reach down for a deep, deep catch.

He is calling me to deeper waters. That I know. He spoke those words over me two months ago. He did not promise to tell me the name of those waters, or how far I would go. But He did promise not to leave me or forsake me in those waters. And now I am here. Knee deep, wanting to go farther, and yet, nervous. Nervous because I do not know if I have the faith or the trust to walk into the murky. Nervous because I know that no matter the outcome, it will be hard, and I do not feel strong. Nervous because I do not have a finish line in sight, and I don’t know how much endurance I can muster.

I never thought I would be back here. I never thought I would be called to this place again. This place of hurt and pain. And it needs no name, because we each call it something different. But we all know that place. That place that needles at our side. That place that keeps us awake through the longest night. That place that brings tears over and over, deep sighs, and long frustrations. That place that makes us ask, “why” in a multitude of groans. Yes, we all know that place.  

And we don’t always want to go. And we certainly would never walk into those waters if we saw what was to come. And yet He calls us. He calls to you and He calls to me. Soft and full, He calls us. He calls us forward into waters we would not go into otherwise.

And that call requires the necessity of the deep. It is required, it is mandated.  We must, in order to have gain, reach into the deep. For there is no gain in the shallow. There is no adventure in the shallow. There isn’t even room to store in the shallow. No, for by its very definition gain must require depths. And that is what He wants for us: Gain.  Gain so much farther out of my scope of imagination than I am capable of. Gain so far from the realm I deem important. Gain that is ever inexplicably more. Gain that refreshes and replenishes what that enemy sin took from us. Yes, His desire for us is a bountiful catch. An abundant catch. I came that they may have life and have it abundant. And in the deepest places of your heart you know, that it is your desire as well. And in the deepest places of your heart, you hear the whispers for more. And you wake up with the ache of a soul that longs for more. And you walk through days with a soul that lunges towards the hope for more.  And as the sun sets into night, so does your gaze onto the more that is to come. In the deepest places of your heart, you hear the whispers for more. Because we were made for that catch. We were created to know the bountiful.

But to know that catch, to understand what it truly means, we must go to places we have never been before. We must reach down into the deep. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. Your waves have rolled over me.

No, I don’t want to go. It may not be the inspirational answer, and it may not be the christian answer, but I do not want to go. Because it is different, and it is scary, and it is dark. It is a place I have never been to before. And it is a place in which I must give up everything. But when we go to the deep, it is there and only there that we find life abundant. And when we go to the deep it is there and only there that our hearts no longer whisper for more. And when we go to the deep it is there that we find our catch.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon,”Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as you say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;”

We do not just find our catch, we find abundant catch. We find a catch that fills us. We find catch that spills over into the lives of others, and fills them as well. And we are seized with amazement at the One before us, the One who lead us to that catch.
No, He does not call us to the easy, you and me. And He never promised he would. But there is more to experience than the easy. There is adventure. There is a love story. There is life. You need only to put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

John 10:10| Psalm  42:7| Luke 5: 4-9

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A New Day, Adventure Makers, The Plans He Has for You

Breath

I sat in my car on one of those evenings that was a mesh of late summer and early fall. Hand on the ignition I looked up just before starting the car. And that was as far as I could get before letting the sunset take me away. I looked up to a fluffy sky.  I sat in my car and stared as cool blues and warm oranges floated into a stuff similar to grandmas whip cream and jello salad. Colors melted into a sunset as clouds smeared and puffed. It was beautiful. So beautiful it took my breath away and my thoughts with it. I remember as I sat there watching those perfect clouds. Clouds so gauzy they looked as though they had been painted on. Clouds so perfect and still they deserved an audience, a crowd, anyone to sit and see the perfect, frozen scene that streaked across a Tennessee sky. And it was only after giving that sky what it so rightly deserved that I realized the ballet that was before me. Because those clouds were anything but still. There was no frozen scene in front of me. But rather one of constant change and movement. Those perfectly painted clouds, the ones that should have been on canvas rather than sky, those clouds were moving, dancing before me in pirouettes and rond de jambes.  And perhaps to some it was barely movement, perhaps to some it was a crawl. But even the slowest movement is still movement.

And I sit here now, in a coffee shop on a cold, windy Tuesday and I think back to that day. That jello salad day. I sit here now and I think of those clouds. And I wonder if they felt still. If they felt stagnant. Did they know where they were headed? Did they know they were moving? Did they know there was life, despite the appearance of it all? I sit here now and I wonder, did they feel like me? Because I feel still. And I feel stagnant. And I feel stuck. Stuck on a canvas I never wanted to be on, framed into a pretty picture that isn’t so pretty after all. And truth is, I want a different picture. I want to feel life. I want to move. I want to move light years ahead of where I am now. Truth is, I don’t so much like where I am in this picture I’ve been given. And so I sit here in this coffee shop and I think about those clouds, and I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were dancing. And I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were beautiful. Even in the stillness, no, because of the stillness, did they know how beautiful they were? Did they know that they were stunning. Did they know they could capture the attention of one girl at first glance. Drop her jaw from its hinges and her keys from the ignition. Did they know? Do you know?

Because we, we are like the clouds. And we move. Sometimes so fast we can’t even keep our heads up. And other times so slow we can’t decipher if distance has even been made. But we are moving. We are not stuck. And we are not still. And no matter how stagnant we may feel, we are moving. In an ever present fluid line we move forward. And it is in no effort of our own. And it is not because of anything we do or do not do. And it is not something we can accelerate or stop. Because we do not move of our own volition. We move because of Him. He moves us. Blows us forward with each breath, with His breath. And He breathes into us the breath of life. Into our lungs. Into our soul.  He speaks into our life, and breathes into our soul.

Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.

We move, and we move forward and we live by the very breath of God. And just like He blows breath on those clouds, He blows breath on us. And we move. And perhaps there are days that you feel time blurs before you. And perhaps your heart can’t take another beat of measure. Perhaps you think it’s too fast, and you must slow down. Or perhaps you feel stuck. Perhaps you are tired of the same scenery and the same picture. Perhaps you feel that in your heart of hearts you cannot take another day in the same spot. And perhaps no matter your speed, your heart is overwhelmed. And this world, whether fast or slow, is too much. And perhaps. And perhaps. And perhaps.

But take heart. For He has overcome the world. And your story, and your movement and your speed, it is not by chance. And it is not forgotten. And it is not without purpose. But it is beautiful. And it is stunning. And it is bringing forth life.

You are not forgotten. And just like those clouds on that jello salad day, you have an audience. For He sees you. Dancing into your destiny, He sees you. Causing breath to enter you, He sees you. Watching as you come to life, He sees you.  He sees purposed movement. He sees a beautiful awakening. He sees life. He sees life abundant. So take heart beloved. Feel His breath and come alive. 

 

|Ezekiel 37:5-6| John 16:33|

 

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The Plans He Has for You, The Vulnerable Side

Wanderer

I am Hebrew. I am a sojourner. I wander just like my ancestors of old. I wander in a wilderness I was never made for. I was made for a promised land. I was promised that land. The land of milk and honey. I was made to dwell. I was made to live. I was made for life abundant. And yet, instead of living in that land, instead of taking what has been given to me, instead, I choose to grumble.  I choose to walk away from the promise. I choose to wander. 

I screw up. I make mistakes. I say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. Think the wrong thing.  I see the wounds of the past and I fall back into old thinkings. Old ideas. Old habits. I screw up. I make mistakes.  And I think that what I do tells me who I am. I think that what happens to me tells me who I am.  I let my beliefs define my identity. I screw up and I see a screw up. I make mistakes and I see a mistake. I say the wrong thing and I see something wrong. I let my beliefs define my identity. Just as the Hebrews in the wilderness. They wandered. From idea to idea. From lie to lie. From complaint to complaint. They wandered. Wandered in the wilderness. Wandered from who they were. Wandered from their identity. They let their ideas define themselves. They believed what they saw. Even in sight of a promise from the One True God. Even in view of the promised land. They let their ideas define their identity. The land through which we have gone, they said, is a land that devours its inhabitants. We saw the Nephilim; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight.

We do not become what we see. But we believe we are what we see. We see screw ups and we believe we have become so. We see mistakes and we believe we have become so. We see the giants, those greater than us, and we become like grasshoppers in our own sight. And then, when we believe, others follow. And soon, we cannot see who we are because we have a crowd to negate it. They see what we see and they confirm our belief. They see what we see. There also we saw the Nephilim; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. We cannot see who we are, because we believe otherwise. And through our own belief, we invite others to believe also. And we become also in their sight. We become like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we are in their sight.

But it is not our sight that defines. And it is not their sight that has power to define. Our definition comes from Him. And it is not a changing thing. It is an ever fixed thing. We are who we are not because we have made ourselves so. We are who we are not because they have made us so. We are who we are not because culture says we are so. We are who we are because Christ says we are so. We are not grasshoppers, no matter the sight that sees it. We are His. We are owned by the One who paid ransom for us. We were bought with a price. So do not become bondservants of men. Identity is not a changing thing. What I do is not my identity. What happens to me is not my identity. What I am exposed to is not my identity. My identity is Christ. He is who I am. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life. In Christ you too are filled with the Godhead- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- and reach full spiritual stature.  Do not see what others see. Do not see what you see. See what He see’s. The one who defines you. Do not wander from that Promised Land. From that Abundant life. Do not wander. For we are His. We have been bought with a price. We are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life.  We are His.


Be who you are beloved. Be who He has made you

Numbers 13:33 | I Corinthians 7:23 | Colossians 2:10

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life making, The Plans He Has for You

Harold

I lost him two weeks ago. It still seems surreal. Maybe because I loved him so much. Maybe because He lived in Chattanooga and there has always been distance between us. But there is no longer distance keeping me from him. Now there’s only time. Time between now and when I will see him again. Now there’s only time. And to be honest, I’m not ok with that. Because the distance was great, but the time is greater. And I want it to be tomorrow. I want to see him tomorrow.

I met Harold four years ago. Four years ago this weekend actually. It seems much longer. He was the kind of person who made you think you’d known him always. But it was only four short years ago.

And four years ago, I was in a lost spot. I was hurting. I didn’t know who I was, or who wanted me. I didn’t know where I belonged or what I was supposed to be. And so, to tell me who I was, the Lover of my soul sent me to a Christmas party. Of course I didn’t see it that way. I had gotten a call from my friend Cameron who told me his family wanted to invite me to their Christmas. I didn’t understand why but I also didn’t care. Because I was broken, and broken people need people. I needed people. So I took Cameron up on his offer and I drove to Chattanooga. I drove the miles, and pulled up to a little farm house on the Georgia border. I walked into that farm house and into a warmth that was much more than the temperature of the room. And that is where I met him, Cameron’s grandpa, Harold. He and his wife Lil didn’t just take me in, they took me to heart. They opened their house and their heart to me, and just like that I was family. And at the end of the night, I was invited back. As often as I wanted to come. I was family. It was that easy.

The next year, I drove back to that farm house in Chattanooga. I drove back to that family. But I still wasn’t able to see myself as more than a friend. Maybe a good friend, but just a friend. But that year, that was the year that they decided to take a family picture on the back porch. And like a good friend, I stood to the side, as the family got organized. I stood to the side until Harold came over to me and told me that I was family. I was family and I was going to be in that picture. And I wasn’t just going to be in the picture, I was going to stand next to him. Because I was his grand daughter. He loved me. And that was the end of it. It didn’t matter who I saw myself as. He saw who I was, and he stuck to it. He claimed my identity even when I couldn’t.

He claimed my identity even when I couldn’t.

 

He claimed my identity even when I couldn’t.

 

He did what Jesus did. The Lover of our souls. The Author of our souls. The Author of our purpose. The Author of all we will ever be. He claimed our identity even when we couldn’t. Because the enemy, he wants to destroy me. He wants to destroy you. He wants to destroy us all. And so he speaks into our ears and into our hearts. And he tells us we are nothing. He tells us we are nothing to be loved, nothing to be valued, nothing to be wanted. And we believe him. He holds up glass and we see it like a mirror. We see through it and we believe what we see. We see pain, we see ugly, we see all things that are wrong. And it is all we will ever see, until Jesus, the one who walks into our lives and loves us even when we don’t see ourselves as lovable, until He comes and shows us truth. He claims our identity even when we can’t. And He doesn’t hold up glass, He holds up truth. Truth that we are beautiful. Truth that we are the lily among thorns. Truth that we are the Beloved’s and He is ours. Truth that we are wanted, desired, loved with an everlasting love. Not for what we’ve done, but for who we are. In all our sin, in all our lacking. We are loved with an everlasting love.

He claimed our identity even when we couldn’t. He claims our identity even when we can’t. He is love. He is the Lover of our souls. You see, we are who we are, not because we have proven it. We are who we are because He has proven it.

I’m going to miss Harold so much. It didn’t feel like enough time with him. But I guess my friend Greg is right, it doesn’t matter how much time I got with him, it would never feel like enough. And even in the pain of loss, I can hold to truth. Just as Harold held to it. Just as Jesus holds to it. We are who we are, not because we have proven it. We are who we are because He has proven it.

He claims our identity even when we can’t.


Be loved, Beloved. Be loved.

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life making, The Plans He Has for You

Red Thread

I feel different. I am different. So different from you, from them. Whoever “them” is. I am a pattern and color unlike any I know. And sometimes it alienates me. Takes me farther from the rest. Sometimes it makes me feel like the outsider. I see differently than the lot. I see in metaphors and creations. I laugh. And I laugh louder than all the others. I flip and flop. I get awkward. I get weird. I get serious and melancholy and bounce back to joy in an instant. I ask questions. I poke. I prod. I smile and let it be. I am different. Sometimes I think I am a mess. Sometimes I think I am a misfit.

But aren’t we all? Isn’t that what we all were?

We were misfits. Misunderstood by all around. Misunderstood by ourselves. But He saw us. El Roi. The God Who Sees. He sees us even when we are unable to see ourselves. He looks into us and sees not just who we are, but who we will be. I see a misfit, but He sees more. He will always see more.

And so there we are, running wild, seeking our identities. Unaware of who we are. Unaware that we already are. Unaware that He could use us. Unaware that He will.

We are here. Unable to fit into any semblance of organization.  Colors and patterns, each so different from the next. That one floral, this one stripes.  And then He pricks us, and then He punctures. Pushing the needle through us, one stitch at a time. And we hurt, and we wonder and we cannot see. Until another square of cloth comes from out of the blue. And then, as if it always was they are apart of us. They are family and friend. They are helper and edifier. And we are together. Stitched together, through the blood of Christ. Stitched together through the will of God.

We come together, each cut from different cloth. Colors and patterns that you and I are unable to make beautiful. Colors and patterns that you and I would never put together. Yet, with His hand there is harmony. He brings us together with red thread. Each stitch. Each puncture. Uniting us into something, giving a common brand, giving us identity. Stitch by stitch. Square by square, we come together. Until we are all one. One large quilt brought together by nothing else but His blood threaded through us. We are his tapestry, His quilt, His blanket. Made to spread out, made to envelope. Made to bring others into rest. Because you see, we are so much. When we are brought together, we are no longer misfit squares. We are so much more. We are warmth on a cold day. We are comfort on the hard days. We are spread wide and open, falling to green grasses or broken soil. We are sought out on cloudy days when there are more questions than answers. We are crawled into on the darkest nights. We protect and pad when life is too rough. We are kept around, because they never know when a soft blanket will be needed. We are here. We are His tapestry. To be needed. To be used. We give and give and give to this world of ours. Because together, we can do so much. We are called to so much.

And so, maybe sometimes I only see a square. Maybe sometimes I cannot see the big picture. Often times I cannot see the big picture. I can’t even see to the left or right of me. I only see my square. I see how different I am from you. I see how your square is better, prettier, more useful than mine. But He is El Roi. The God Who Sees. He sees us even when we are unable to see ourselves. He looks into us and sees not just who we are, but who we will be. I see a misfit, but He sees more.

He will always see more.

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