Characters in His Story {or when our lives are like water in the hand of the Creator}

Jesus, would you make us willing drops in your great hand?

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Plunk. Plink. Clink.

Millions of glistening drops fall from a sky pregnant with life and hope. These million particles of a bigger thing fall into the broken dirt, disappear into deep basins with faces reflecting the sky above them, or dance on the tops of rusty cans for a brief flicker of time.

Life-giving. Hope-filled.

These pieces of liquid freely fall from the hands of their Creator. He tosses them from his majestic hand like rice on a wedding day. He blows on them and they change form and gently fall in flakes of intricate detail. Or they hit the earth as ice in myriads of shapes and sizes. Or they are gently kissed before being released as condensation.

They are the creation. Not the Creator. He chooses what they look like, what their purpose will be. It is not up to them to choose what form they want to take in their descent from the lofty, cotton candy puffs of clouds. Nor do they get to decide where they will land. Or if their drops will even make a difference for anything.

Trust. Sacrifice. Honor.

He must increase. All else must quietly fade and disappear in the presence of King Jesus.

What of this life? Isn’t it just a mist that dances on the line between heaven and earth, only to quietly slip away and be no more? Isn’t it just a breath that eventually ceases to be? Just a life that gracefully bows one last time, before the falling of the curtains. A sprinkle of light pointing to the Source. Just a cracked pot that holds a Treasure of infinite worth for a fraction of earthly time, to one day return to its Maker.

Jesus decides the beginning. Jesus chooses the ending. Jesus sustains the middle. All is Jesus.

Our lives are up to him. He picks his characters for his stories. And he will have his ending—whether we betray him, abandon him, rebel against him, or run after our own ending. The ending is also still his, if we follow him, love him, go deep with him, and choose him—again and again. He introduces his characters and he will bring his characters to their appointed ending in his great, awesome story.

These characters may play roles as small as a drop in a bucket—seemingly insignificant and silent. They may be thrown into life to create a beautiful scrap of music. Much like a pinch of rain dancing on a rusty soup can—beauty for just a moment. They may be characters that fall into the cracks of the earth and produce a harvest of infinite worth—worshipers to gather around the throne of the King. They may also be characters that disappear in a sea of other characters—combining their gifts and laying their lives down to just fade into the masses of people wholeheartedly pursuing the all-consuming gospel of Jesus.

Oh, Jesus, may we be faithful, trusting, sacrificing characters in your infinitely precious, beautiful, eternal Story! Jesus may we love you, honor you, and choose you above all else! Father God, would we feel your delight in us when you toss us up like the children we are and swing us into the brilliant rainbow of your smile? And would we also feel your love when you kiss our noses and blow us into the valley of death and darkness?

King Jesus, would your all-conquering, all-consuming power and beauty increase in our lives and hearts, leading us to leave everything at your feet and follow you. Oh, Jesus, would you make us willing drops in your great hand?

One Final Goodbye

It feels like the end until heaven. It was the very last time to see his beautiful face—and it was still as breath-taking as it was when he was just five weeks old. There is no one I could ever love as much as him. No one who took more of my heart with him when he died. No one who ever gave me such reason to live as he did. No gift greater than him. No deeper, truer love than his.

This evening, I buried my best friend. And it feels like I buried a piece of my very life with him. As long as he was still in his box, waiting until spring, I felt like he was still with me. And though I knew so well he had gone, wishful hope made me long to open the box up to my best friend being very much alive and well.

Whether pets go be with Jesus is anyone’s guess, but the greater part of my heart believes that Harvard is already experiencing a life I can only dream of. My heart feels very certain that the home Jesus is preparing for me is already home to my cat. If that is the case, then for sure, there are huge windows in every direction, a lake flowing downhill from our home, and more trees than could ever fit in a normal yard. There are puffballs, catnip plants, tall grasses, and flowers that never end.

This is a place for walking barefoot in the grass and sand. A place to breathe deeply and be completely, fully, immensely happy. A place of laughing and dancing and singing. A place that contains Jesus but could never fully contain him.

This is our home—Harv’s and mine.

And my heart is restless until I see him and Jesus in that beautiful place.

Harvard, I’ll always love you from a place no one else could ever touch or fill. There is nothing that will ever be able to fill the hollowness in my heart and life now that you’ve gone. I will never forget you—I never, ever could. I’ll never stop loving you or carrying you in my heart. Precious baby, I’ll always love you more.