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When I surrendered, all my thoughts, dreams, plans, expectations, hopes and even some beliefs fell as if the surface they were resting on was suddenly yanked out from underneath.  The ground below was hard and they shattered.  So many pieces lay in piles all jumbled up. What a mess! They had seemed so valuable – something to be desired – but now all was broken.

Before I could reach a state of panic or overwhelming sadness, I felt Jesus’ strong hand on my shoulder, silently telling me to just be still.  He stepped past me crouching there in my disappointment and scooped up all the fragments and shards in His hands.  Then he got up and turned away from me for a while as I nursed my wounds from wayward pieces that had cut me.  He worked without speaking.  The silence became so complete it almost smothered me as I sat waiting.  I didn’t know what He was doing, He seems to enjoy secrecy sometimes.  He didn’t even want my help, if you can imagine that.  I’m good at helping, though. I’m good at organizing and keeping control over things, I told myself.  Of course whenever I tell Him that he chuckles and keeps at His work.   Meanwhile, there I sat with no tangible stuff to hold onto other than trust that He’ll be faithful to me and always let me walk with Him.  As I waited, I reminded myself that nothing can take His love way from me.  Not even messes or “accidents” like what just happened.   Oddly enough, my belief in His goodness didn’t fall and crash to the ground.  It must be embedded more securely in my heart’s walls.

Finally, He turned and smiled while saying, “I can show you some of what I’m creating but just know it’s not finished.  It won’t be for a long time.  It’s an ongoing project.”  I stood and walked over to Him.  He held out a long wooden tube with a little hole in one end and placed it in my hands.  I looked down inside but just saw some bumpy dark shapes, all black and shadows.  He wrapped his hands around my hands as I held it and tilted it up, so that I practically pointed it at his chest, which began radiating a brilliant light.  It was like the room was suddenly visited by the sun itself and as I looked up into the hole this time I gasped at the beauty of what I saw.  All the little pieces, now illuminated, though still broken and jumbled, were forming intricate, mesmerizing patterns as Jesus helped me turn the kaleidoscope slowly around.  His heart light brought the wide array of hues to sparkling life:  deep emerald-green of eternal life, fresh yellow-green of new growth, pale grey of tears, dark amber of illness, cobalt blue of sadness, smokey silver uncertainty, clear golden-yellow of contentment, deep crimson of blood.  Blood?  Some from my past hurts but mostly from His own wounds that have healed me.  Striking indigo and violet of friendship, vibrant shades in magenta of all types of love, pale iridescent pink of hope, lively almost juicy orange of joy, rich warm brown of memories…all colliding, morphing, and constantly shifting to make the most breathtaking display I’ve ever seen.  The broken edges of the fragments, catching glints of light here and there, made it all the more beautiful.

I noticed there were no black pieces from my sin.  Jesus reminded me that he forgot them…on purpose.

As I stood gazing into the kaleidoscope I realized that without the darker and varied shades of the “bad” things in my life the designs wouldn’t be as vivid or complete.  If only the “happy” colors were there it would be bland, mediocre at best.  I also remembered, though I’ve known it a long time, that what God can dream up and create is always so much more than I could imagine.  He sees the possibility for a masterpiece when all I see is a mess.

When I take my last earthly breath, I’ll wake to the purest light.  I’ll take Jesus’ hand:  my Savior, Master Craftsman, the greatest Artisan, Dreamer and Imaginer of all.  He’ll lead me, once a broken piece, to see and take my place in the final outcome of all his work over the span of all time.  All the souls that ever belonged to Him and trusted in Him, united though varied and of all different shades, forming a living mosaic of God’s love, ablaze with brilliance, our crystal-clear hearts reflecting the light of Jesus, casting colors never seen before everywhere like a million prisms.  No more stains from sin, blotches or scars from disease, or murky shadows of hate.  No longer broken but whole.  Only beautiful, pure, true, lasting light and life with Him always.  Only God could come up with that masterpiece.

Only God can truly create beauty from brokenness – now and forever.

“…everything of God finds its proper place in him… Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.  Colossians 1:18  The Msg