"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."
- I Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)
I had an hour to kill before a meeting, and so I went to Starbucks last week for an iced coffee and some free wi-fi. As I sat at my high top table, perched like a caffeinated gargoyle, I noticed a man on the other side of the shop working on his needlepoint.
I’ll admit that it was a rather curious sight. That’s not a dig at his masculinity or an assumption about gender roles. It’s just a simple observation: I don’t see too many guys doing needlepoint. I’m sure they’re out there, but until that day, I don’t know that I’d ever seen one. But there he was, calmly drinking a coffee and digging needles with impunity into my understanding of social mores.
To be fair, maybe the problem is with me. I’m a creature of habit. I tend to haunt the same places. Maybe there are lots of places where men do needlepoint, but I just don’t go to them. Maybe I need to expand my horizons. It’s entirely possible. I’m not exactly cosmopolitan. My idea of a nice night out is hitting Taco Bell on the way to IKEA.
Anyway, maybe for that reason alone, this gent really piqued my curiosity. I wanted to know what he was making. I couldn’t see the front of the fabric from my where I sat; I could only see the reverse - a rather confusing and criss-crossed series of strings, all assembled with only a small semblance of logic or design.
Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me. I took an unnecessary trip to the restroom and creeped on this guy’s needlepoint. With a probing “side eye,” I finally saw it - an absolutely beautiful landscape. He wasn’t only doing needlepoint; he was rocking it.
Sometimes, I think our lives as God’s children are like that needlepoint at Starbucks. From our current vantage point, we can’t see the beauty of what our Father is creating - what he’s doing in us, through us, and ultimately for us. At times, his work seems to have only a small semblance of logic or design. From where we sit, it all seems so confusing and criss-crossed at times.
Thankfully, someday, when we enter his rest, our vantage point will change and we’ll see more clearly what our Dad was making all along. Someday, he'll reveal the confusing and criss-crossed aspects of our lives as the necessary craftsmanship of the ultimate Artisan. He is making all things beautiful again.
This morning, I heard the news that Billy Graham entered our Lord’s rest. Initially, I was sad - not only for his family, but also for our nation. His death seems like yet another light going out in an already dark age.
A few moments later, sadness gave way to rejoicing. Rev. Graham's vantage point is now Glory. This morning, he sees the God he preached to the nations, face to face. He also sees the greater picture, the grander design of our lives. He’s not dead. He’s more alive than he’s ever been.
Commenting on his grandfather’s passing, Will Graham responded, "My grandfather once said, 'One day you'll hear that Billy Graham has died. Don't you believe it. On that day I'll be more alive than ever before! I've just changed addresses.’"
Child of God: One day, you’ll change addresses, too. And from the vantage point of your new home, you’ll see the greater picture, the grander design, of your life. You’ll be more alive than you’ve ever been. Keep pressing on. You're going home, so make the most of your time here for - like Billy - you’re just passing through.
You’re loved. Don’t forget it!
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