Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I think most of us have done it from time to time:  read so close to the page that you can't see what's happening around you, got caught up in a game and didn't hear your spouse calling your name.  When I taught art, I had to constantly remind my students to step back from their work and look at the larger composition.  When we can't see details in relation to the bigger picture, those details get warped and are not drawn correctly in relation to everything else.  So taken with what we are focused on, we don't see how out of proportion we've made it.   We fail to see our lives in perspective , because we are focused too closely on them. 

And then something comes along and smacks you on the head, usually metaphorically. Sometimes it's just a good solid punch to the heart. Suddenly, you are ashamed at how silly you've been, worrying about things God has already proven He will take care of, focusing on things that might be interesting, or troubling, but in the grand scheme of things, quite possibly aren't as important as we once thought. You are forced to take a step back, and reevaluate your worries and your reactions to them.  

Has that ever happened to you? It happened to me.

A good friend of mine texted me last Friday morning, asking for prayers because she was taking her kids to the ER.  Her seven-year-old daughter had a fever of 103 and her son had been complaining of head and neck pain.  The boy they were concerned about because he as a shunt in his head, common to kids with spina bifida. 

By mid-morning, I'd heard nothing, so I texted her back to ask her how the kiddos were doing.  She called me immediately, explaining that while her son was fine, they were taking her daughter, Lily, to U of M childrens' hospital because her blood work had come back abnormal.

By evening they were waiting to find out what kind of leukemia she had.

There's that punch to the heart.

The most amazing thing? What I'll never forget as long as I live?  My friend Dala, telling me on the phone two days later, "I can see God everywhere around us." She spoke of people coming together to take care of them and provide for their needs, her fellow teachers volunteering their sick days for her, the sense of peace she felt as proof of the prayers being said, and the way prayers were answered.  Her faith is rock solid.

This family had already been through more trials than most people deal with in their lifetime. And then Lily's diagnosis. Yet, the peace they have, the knowledge that God will carry them through this, just as he has in the past. It is beyond words.  

Have they cried? Yes. I talked with Dala while she was following the ambulance to U of M.  Normal for them was being severely redefined, again.

Do they wish they could change things? Absolutely. 

But in the thick of it, " I can see God everywhere around us."

That, is perspective.

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