Wednesday, March 31, 2010


"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be."
God, pick up the pieces.
Put me back together again.
You are my praise!
Jeremiah 17:9-10,14

I used to love puzzles. Sorting through all the pieces to find the edges and then putting all the inside pieces together in places where they appeared to fit. We had a puzzle that came in a plain white box with black letters on it. Basically, there was no picture of what the actual finished product was supposed to look like.

That's how it is with us. A bunch of broken pieces of ourselves thrown around and mixed up with nothing in it's proper place until we meet Jesus. Then, the edges of ourselves begin to come together with only the Creator knowing what the finished product will look like. The rest of us are just blindly picking up the pieces of our lives and trying to make them fit in places where they just don't belong.

Once in a while, a piece from someone else's puzzle gets dropped into our pile. At first, we may not realize that the piece isn't ours - that it just doesn't fit into the picture of our lives - but we keep trying to fit it in somewhere. And once in a while, after getting all the pieces put together, you discover there are a few pieces missing, and the picture is never complete without all it's parts.

I remember sorting through (or watching someone else) a bunch of puzzles that got mixed up together. No matter how hard anyone tried, the pieces just didn't fit in the wrong puzzle.

I love that God can tell the difference between what belongs in our lives and what doesn't. He can sort through the pieces and put them all in the right places. He can even fill the empty spaces left by the missing pieces. But we have to ask him for help. He'll let us put the puzzle together ourselves and wait patiently as we struggle. Then, sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently, He will pull apart the things we forced into place and replace them, putting everything back in order, and loving us the whole time.

Working puzzles is always more fun when you have help.

Picture by Artem Chernyshevych

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You Paint the Sky...

Last summer I saw some of the most amazing skies. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get a good picture of any of them. Either I was driving, or I didn't have my camera, or I just couldn't get the shot like I wanted to.
I remember asking God to give me the chance to take a picture of one so I could show of his handy work. He reminded me that His reaching out to me is for me. It's His way of talking with me, one on one. His way of showing me things greater than myself.
I took the upper left photo this past week while driving to work. Just a quick snap with my phone. It's not even close to what it really looked like, but I like it anyway. Once again, I was reminded that the sky God painted was for my eyes - His way of telling me he loves me.

The photo to the right, I also took this week. No, it's not a black and white shot. It was just a gray day. The sun hasn't shown itself in a few days, and that was really starting to get to me. So I thought I'd take a quick pic with my phone and share how unfair it is that the sky has been so gloomy and the rain has been coming down and on and on and on. But once again, I was reminded by that still small voice, that God still painted the sky for me. It's just on that particular day, he chose gray paint.

He again reminded me that even when things aren't going great, and the colors I see aren't vibrant and he doesn't do things the way I want him to, He's still God. He still makes the best choices. I know so little and He knows all. What I see as trouble, or uncomfortable, or unpleasant, He sees as a way to make me grow - to make me draw near to Him - to become more and more like Him. In His eyes, the sky is just as beautiful in the second picture - maybe even more so - because He used it to change my heart, and to further transform my character to be in line with His.

Monday, March 1, 2010


It snowed last week. I know. Hard to believe, isn't it? Walking in from lunch one day I noticed all the footprints and it got me thinking. So of course, I snapped a picture with my phone.

To look at the whole picture, all I see is chaos. People going every which way on their way to an appointment or a meeting or just to get to their desk to start their day or their car on their way home. But amidst the chaos, each set of footprints is a part of someone's story. Each person has a past, a present, and a future. Each step taken was representation of that person, who in that moment chose to love or to hate, to laugh or to cry, to come or to go.

But what they couldn't choose was the fact that each step left an impact when they left it. A footprint as a reminder they were there. Even though today, as I walked that same sidewalk, the evidence of their presence is no longer there, they made a difference in that place in that moment.

That's how we are to be, as salt and light in the world. The tiniest bit of salt can change the way something tastes or melt the snow. The tiniest bit of light begins to chase away the darkness as soon as it shines. I think sometimes I get caught up in trying to make this lasting impact that will change someone's life forever. But all I can really control is this moment. I don't know what will happen in their life as soon as I walk away, hang up, or log out. I can only really make a difference right here, and right now. That's why we have to be present in every moment, and not be so worried about other things. It's too much pressure to change a life forever. Only God can do that. All I can do is listen to the Spirit, and follow His lead. Then maybe, just maybe, my own life will be changed in that moment as well.