Ever have a moment when you are awed by the bigness of God? Perhaps you’re singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and it’s like all the saints and angels across all time have joined together before the Lamb? I live for those moments and the sudden perspective shift that happens. During one such worship time, I began to think about history, about God’s story for humanity, past, present and future. I saw in my mind’s eye a massive tapestry unfurling before me: complex, multi-hued, a work of art. It was too huge for my eye to take in. As I looked at the tapestry, I began to focus, as through a magnifying glass, on the tiniest details until I could see the individual stitches. Each stitch was the heartbeat of one person, each person a part of the body of Christ, woven together across time. No stitch in itself seemed important, and perhaps no one would notice if a stitch were the wrong color or missing all together. But what if two stitches were missing. Or three. Or three hundred? And what about those stitches that seemed brighter, perhaps made of gold thread? In and of themselves, they were still just single stitches that had little meaning outside the larger tapestry.
Whether we realize it every day or not, our very existence, our being here in this life that God created is purposeful. Our stitches in His tapestry are vital. Our bursts of color, our lives, are not without meaning because they are part of His masterpiece. You and I may be but tiny stitches in time, but we are part of history. And not just the march of human events. Because we are in Christ, we are woven into His massive, glorious plan of reconciling all things back to God through Himself (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). If we let this truth penetrate our hearts, could it change our perspective on some things? Perhaps.
I love this adage: “We are Human Beings, not Human Doings.” When I was a young mom, knowing that truth helped relieve my guilt when I couldn’t, say, get my family out the door on time or manage to have a quiet time with God when nothing in my house was quiet. And it certainly helped me gain perspective when it felt like the whole world was writing books, recording albums, and going on mission trips. Meanwhile, I was changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and wiping little noses. I needed to know that God was caring for me and sometimes downright CARRYING me as I gasped for breath and grasped for Him. I needed to know that I was not just marking time on the sideline while everyone else was experiencing “real life.” It was a time of living life in the trenches with small ones who needed me desperately—and by being in those moments, fully committed to that particular season, I was learning what it meant to be a vehicle through which God redeems His earth…sometimes one runny, little nose at a time.
I still need to know those things. Sometimes I don’t make the deadline. Sometimes I have to pull something to bits and start again. Sometimes I get frustrated and think my people are getting in the way of my purpose. Because I’ve forgotten the people ARE the purpose. Then, it’s time to breathe, to worship, to thank the Lord for this life and the lives of these other small stitches in time around me. It’s time to remember and trust that God has a plan for all the “doings” because He first and foremost loves all the “beings.”