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Yesterday was a crummy day. Fortunately, Tuesday was wonderful — chock-full of blessings and outright miracles. That’s the way life is sometimes. Pondering Tuesday’s beneficence, I keep thinking, “I didn’t deserve all that.” But isn’t that the point? Grace is unearned. God bestows it freely, even lavishly. All this generosity got me thinking about God’s love for each of us. It’s a little overwhelming. And there is no “why” or “because” about it. It just is. Here are some loose, unrefined thoughts on the matter:

Someone has a crush on you and it’s God.
Someone gave you a candy heart that said
LOVE YOU and meant it and it was God.
Someone sends ridiculous declarations,
love songs on the radio,
twenty dozen long-stemmed roses,
chocolates hand-dipped by blind monks,
a stuffed plush bear the size of a Volkswagen.
And it’s God.
God says you get a car and you and you and you
and they’re all dream cars even if yours is a Mercedes
and mine is a Porsche.
Someone swoons over you, knees knocking, heart
ticking quick as a metronome at full speed,
chest so tight breath barely breaks,
and it’s God.
To God, you are marvelous. Amazing. A wonder.
A sonnet with legs and arms and a face.
God will never get over you.
You might as well sign for the package;
take it in your hands. Guess its worth.
You will always come up short.

Whoever said April was the cruelest month never met May 2015. Weather reports that make Chicken Little sound like a meteorologist: “The sky is falling!” Bad news from all corners. A general air of distress.

God sees it all. But God sees more than we do, too. Consider the old canard (I paraphrase): What the caterpillar considers the end of the world, the butterfly calls life. Or something like that. Yeah, it’s not a big comfort to the caterpillar, but it speaks to what God sees. God is a big picture person.

Consider a masterpiece of pointillism, like Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Focus in on the face of one of the figures, Ferris Bueller-style. Skin becomes dots of tan, brown, pink, white. We are those dots. Yes, we are each eminently important, but what we all comprise together is more so.

What each of us dots considers a tragedy may be only a tiny portion of what an overview might show us to be a miracle. Don’t get me wrong. God loves each and every one of us dots. God loves us in our infinite, dotty uniqueness. But God can see further than we can.

What if IS is just a dot in the bigger picture of Islam? What if — long view — they don’t matter much because what they say and stand for is a distortion of the faith they claim to embrace? What if death is a blade of grass among millions? How tragic can our tragedies be when put into this kind of perspective?

 One of my favorite Laurie Anderson songs talks about a dream she had about a horde of people, each crying out, “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s what we dots do. We want our triumphs to be recognized, our hurts to be acknowledged and nursed, our differences to be celebrated. This world is not a great place for that.

But God sees. God sees and loves each tiny dot, while also seeing the masterpiece we are a part of. Because of course the work of God is a masterpiece! We forget that sometimes by wallowing in our own bad patch of happenstance.

I’m not saying you ought not to feel sad sometimes, or angry, or hurt. I’m not saying that what happens to you doesn’t matter. I’m merely suggesting that as awful as the “right now” is, the long view might be just fine. Great, even. Give your burdens to God and watch what happens to them.

God doesn’t expect us to see what God sees, and that’s a good thing. But God wants us to know that God’s-self is on the case. God’s looking at the big picture, and it’s lovelier than any work of art on earth. Sometimes it helps to remember that.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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