Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Picture Little Picture

I woke up early this morning and took a shower while the rest of my house remained dark and silent. Joe had already left for work, and all 3 of my sons were upstairs tucked away in their comfy beds, resting snug. The 2 little ones have sweet pajama sets and they went to bed with clean booties and clean feet. They went to sleep with clean hair and full bellies. They were tucked in with loving arms and prayed over. My oldest showed up after dark and did whatever he did while the rest of us slept. But he too, fell asleep in a loving home, where he is always welcome. When I wake up each day, they are my Big Picture. Because, in a sense, they are my whole world.

As I approach my second trip to Zimbabwe where I will reconnect with most of the same children I connected with last year, my picture starts to shift. I stand in the shower and massage my scalp with suds from a beautiful smelling shampoo. I cleanse my face and pray that it might start looking younger. I maneuver around the tufts of fat around my gut as I lean and reach to shave stubbly hair from my legs. With every stroke and movement of what amounts more to vanity than it does to hygeine, I shave and I see that I am one body, in one house, in one subdivision, in one community, in one city, in one state, in one country on one continent. I am one teeny tiny fragment of a spirit in this world. This world is so big. And for whatever reason, I think my family is the Big Picture.

It so isn't.

I'm probably about to start freaking out as I prepare to go to Zimbabwe. Why? Because I am forced in both exciting and uncomfortable ways to accept (again) that this life I am living isn't about me. It isn't even about my children and my other very treasured relationships. It is mostly about being willing to go where God is leading me, in trusting that He has a reason, and that I may never even fully know what that reason is.

It is about His big picture.

His big picture includes every peoples and every nation. His big picture is to complete every work that He has started to achieve precisely the purpose He intends. I believe that at the core of it all, is for people to know who He is, that He loves them, and that we're really all orphans, up for adoption, and He's busy doing all the Heavenly become our Father, forever. I can share this on my blog. I can share it on Facebook. I can share it with my neighbors and weird drugged out girls in the grocery store (true story). But for some reason.... (I don't need to know)....He is making it possible for me to go to the ends of the earth where food and water are scarce, HIV is abundant, hope is fading and love is thin...... and I get to beam with light and joy for all that He is willing to do for them. Not me, them. I get to share His light in some of the darkest parts of the world. And for the moments that He does, I am just pretty overwhelmed that He allows me to have some glimpses of His big picture. And oh how different it looks from mine. I cannot believe He does this for me. I am so flawed, so unworthy, and so small and faint....but He sends me anyway. I cannot beleive He trusts me with His word and His spread it around. WOW....people, WOW.........HOLY WOW!

So, my kids are my big picture, because in a sense, they are my whole world. HIS kids are HIS big picture, because the WHOLE WORLD is HIS. We're all invited. Period. My prayer is that we could all look through His lens with His intensity to see His big picture. We might start doing life differently, everyday. Not that our lenses aren't important....just that they are only small snapshots.

Zoom out.

See more.

It's really big out there, and God cares about every square centimeter.

Oh Jesus, I want to curl up in your lap and look at all of your photo albums with you. I want to see your shutterfly photo projects. I want to see what you care about, through your lens, in full focus. I want to hear the stories of all the ways you love your children, whom you've fully adopted into your heart and spirit. I want to see the scenes that make you weep and the moments that utterly crack you up. And I want to be in your photo album, too. I love you, Lord. Thank you for the big picture.



Linda said...

This was so good! I so see what you are saying. I am glad that you get this oppourtunity to be a part of the big picture. I pray that His light will shine through you and His love will reach those dear lost people through you too.
You are a chosen vessel and you contain such love for others.

Safe travels and many blessings!
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Marcia said...

What an AMAZING post!! LOVED IT!!

Gina Ward said...

LOVE it!!!! Can I come too???
Thanks so much for the good reminder! Just what I needed! :)

Pete Ahlstrom said...

So eloquent, Melissa! Very well done.

This blog reminds me of some of Greg Boyd's recent ones. That's definitely a compliment. He's the pastor of a big church in St. Paul, Minnesota (Woodland Hills Church), similar to Cross Point in Nashville. I've never seen him in person, but often enjoy reading him.

Greg's style is usually very intellectual, so the posts that caught my eye are quite different from his normal ones - and more like yours. I'd like to suggest two of them, in particular, if they sound interesting - one called "The River" and another called "Your Identity in Christ." That last one may be the richest blog I've ever read. Both are at

You'll also notice an entry called "Rock On" down at the bottom of his page. Besides being a pastor, Greg (who's 52) is the drummer in a rock band called NDY (Not Dead Yet). Again, like you, the band raises money for kids in orphanages (theirs is in Haiti).

Looking forward to enjoying more of yours.