Sunday, April 4, 2010


Over the past few weeks it seems like everyday we've received a new report of someone near to us with sickness, disease, despair, disappointment and even death. For someone like me it's difficult to be so far away, unable to reach out and lend a hand of encouragement. And this is exactly how I've felt:

"And I felt powerless against the body and time and medicine, and I wished that the sheer force of my love could reverse it all, and I wished that I could be ten places at once, and that if I was, it would matter...and in that moment the world seemed so fragile and life so dangerous and risky, and more than I could hold inside my heart and mind...and I felt like things were breaking and turning to dust before my eyes, like the earth was shifting and out of control." ~Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

Yesterday for us was Easter Sunday. I had an inspiring phone call with a friend about a miracle and a Skype call with family about a tragedy. The juxtaposition of it.

Last night we went into the city for joined church services at the Sydney Entertainment Center. On Easter Sunday night they have a film and art festival. Members of the church submit works of art and short films for the event. The talent was inspiring, moving and powerful.

I submitted a small painting and it was accepted. Before the service started we milled through the gallery. It was wall to wall people. I couldn't move at times, trapped by all the people. We looked at all the art and near the end found my little painting hiding in a corner, a little knocked around from all the people, smudged. I had given it to be silent auctioned, benefitting relief efforts in Samoa.

At the end of the night it was the Artist's responsibility to pick up their piece if no one bid on it. So I kept checking back on it. No bids, so I wanted to make sure and pick it up before it got lost. I went back to grab it before we left and there was an emphatic Asian woman standing over my silent auction sheet, hitting it with her hand saying over and over "no one take dis one, dis one mine." I watched her from a distance for a moment, smiled and walked away. Satisfied that it had spoken to someone and that she would obviously cherish it.

In that moment I realized how the creator feels about the created. Seeking out what they have made, eyes open for it, making sure it's alright. Does it have good placement, good lighting, good conditions? Has it been taken care of? Will it be loved, adored, admired? And I realized the twinge of hurt when it's bumped around, hidden and smudged in a corner. How much more does the Creator feel about His created.

"Are you not much more valuable than they (the birds and the lilies)?" Matthew 6:26

"But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in" 2 Kings 19:27

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:2-18

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