The project was simple: design a city, in three dimensions. Take childhood wonder and add construction. Glue stick and mini-scissors, your tools: Create.
Adult-sized splinters of light through second-grade motor skills. Big vision, tiny architects.
It set my mind spinning, ideas dancing through my imagination.
Weeks later, interrupted by dozens of refused offers of help from Mother and Father, the due date arrived. I experienced a growing level of frustration — as what had developed in my mind’s eye was compromised in translation. But I was relentless until the final hour.
Carrying my second-class results with A+ effort project to the teacher’s desk, I had the confidence of my daddy behind me. I held a seeming mess and he, one hand on my shoulder and the other in his pocket, carried a playful note he later told me said “I know where you live. She deserves at least a B.”
He read my angst.
I slid my project alongside the others and he slid his note in her hand.
The contrast was stark. Architectural artistry beside the best of what my construction paper and scissors could work-up, it was obvious my classmates hadn’t refused their parents offers for help.
I wore that day like a badge on my sleeve. Not quite was my elementary interpretation, that later, became a growing verdict over my internal thought-life. This incident wasn’t necessarily a catalyst, just an early warning sign. Aim high but settle for much, much less. You will never match up to what you envision for yourself.
I’ve spent the better half of a lifetime building a case against myself. Unknowingly, until it grew obvious. Subtle threads of thought reminding me of the chasm between what I expected of myself and where I landed. Day after day, they became my food.
Standing at the foot of a cross which promised me an exchange for the awful parts of me for the beautiful parts of Him, I had my chance to dispose of the growing plague inside of me that sometimes was manifest as pride (the greatest form of insecurity) and other times as self-hatred. But I chose to take it with me. This pet demon had become my friend. Existence without the constant drip of negative evaluation couched in self-improving analysis seemed impossible.
The thing I keep writing about and just can’t stop doing. Opportunity to lift eyes off me and up on Him. His thoughts about Him and His thoughts about me, sweeping out the cobwebs. One simple verse, a heart make-over.
I accepted them, these small vials of death that looked like vitamins, only until I started to look closely into the face of the man who invented me. The creator’s eye cast a different light on my failings, and my adoration offered a new viewfinder.
And so I just keep adoring.
Some days it’s five minutes, here and there, others it stretches until the very last minute before little brown fists knock on my morning door. Each time I never regret that I came.
So until we have our new website in place with a separate spot for my new hobby, I’ll break up life-and-times writing with excerpts from my new kind of morning chai.
Consider it an invitation to pull-up a chair, rest your weary mind and look up.
Here’s where I’ve been the last few days…
Psalm 16:5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance …
Not a set of blessings or platitudes. No spiritual disciplines or godly character traits, just You. My inheritance is a Man. A God-Man. Intimately knowing me, ever calling me up and into intimately knowing Him.
My inheritance is knowing a Man.
You wrap your arms inside of me and You embrace. My shame is no barrier to You. You take all of me. An offering in Your touch, it’s You. You are the offering.
The lines on Your face, layers of history with flesh made by You, but tainted by sin’s sting. You are a long-suffering God, waiting on Your people while they spend their days running. You are a kind God, speaking mercy to those, like me, whose case against themselves they serve to You with punishment’s expectation. You are a God of hope that doesn’t look away from faces full of fear.
You see all.
You know all.
The worst of me is lost in the best of You, my Inheritance. I take brokenness as my dowry and You say, “bury it”, and You offer me the riches of a Man who never once looks away in disgust.
I’ve inherited a Man. Ever-unfolding, each day new. Relationship with the Man of Mercy. Stepping into my inheritance is a dance with a Man. Old in my habits, I am young to You, my Inheritance.
And You are offering it to me early, before time’s due.
Early taste of my one-day inheritance, is a today — now — inheritance.
I’ve inherited a Man.