Last week, I wrote about God the Author; the one who pens the story of your life and the massive, cosmic story of our universe.  He is also an artist.  I imagine his fingers to be fine and long, and his hands to be strong.  I think of my dad’s hands when I imagine the hands of God creating and making as only he can.  He uses ink and hard lines, he uses pastels and water color.  He paints with delicate detail and bold, confident strokes.  He is light and ethereal beauty like a Rembrandt.   He is complex and unapologizing intelligence like a Van Gough.   And he is painting your story with rhythm and pulsing life that we have never seen.

Some time ago, the Bearded Wonder and I crowded into a house full of life.  People were shoulder to shoulder.  We were there to see what it looked like to live the gospel with every breath of ourselves.  It was like the early church.  It was the early church.  It was the meeting of saints in a home full of grace.  Mandy’s home.  She and Arnold welcomed us in to worship God in every corner of their house.  Piano benches and stairs and ever space of floor was taken by a person hungry for life.  The sound of the lone cajon drum made the rhythm of our hearts and the guitar lifted our eyes to Jesus.  The was the beginning of The Bride Church.  The beginning of a sweeping, circular brush stroke made by the Artist’s hand.

Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash

The Bearded Wonder went there again.  After so many years of being gone, he found himself there in that same place where it all started.  The music lifted in worship.  But this time it wasn’t the wondering, tingling anticipating of something beginning. This time it was the mournful, soulful farewell. But not really.  I was actually a beginning.  The death of a saint always is.  It just hurts too much to feel triumphant for them.

The Bearded Wonder came home from playing music to Mandy with red eyes and a heavy heart.  More about this here.  How like God to bring us back to that place.  How like Him to close that circle in a way that is not ironic, but is so full of meaning.

Another circle closed.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Several days before moving home to California from our place in Massachusetts, we filmed and photographed the wedding of two former youth group kids we had the pleasure of serving years ago in our Salem apartment.  We knew these two when we attended a little church, and had youth and college kids in our home to break bread every Sunday.  We left that church with many misunderstandings and a lack of closure.  It was the right thing to leave, but we should have kept in touch with the youth better, there were things we should have said.  This was a haunting regret I carried for years.  When I found out that two of the kids, who are now adults, had gotten engaged I was so thrilled for them.  When the bride contacted me and asked if I would photograph her wedding, I was sure God was using his tremendous, great finger to draw a circle closed in the kind of redemptive way that only He can.  While the Bearded Wonder and I were shooting images of this sweet couple taking their vows, we knew that we were on holy ground.

Another circle closed.

Photo by Karolina Badzmierowska on Unsplash

During that same week, we were able to film the PVS team at Boston Children’s hospital.  They saved Jack’s life over and over again and we were able to capture what they do on film in order to create awareness of the disease.  When we first arrived in Boston, our life has revolved around ministry.  We were forced to rethink how we make money and it was a painful time.  Since then, The Bearded Wonder has become a talented videographer.  Going from being vulnerable, broken parents in the hospital to competent able to do something proactive about this disease is nothing short of miraculous.

Another circle closed.

Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash

When I was in the hospital with Jack waiting for his open heart surgery, God told me that I was like Abraham.  I would have to climb this mountain with the son I loved and I would have to surrender him to the fate God had for him.  I’ve climbed that mountain many times now, and it hasn’t gotten any easier.

When we needed to receive constant medical care from Boston Children’s Hospital, God again spoke to me.  He said I am still like Abraham, but this time it was time to say goodbye to the people I love to travel far and wide.  Our story became a nomad’s tale.  We were constantly on the move, forever moving and never setting down roots.  We were welcomed warmly by some and coldly by others.  There was feast and famine.  That is when we decided to call this blog From the Ravens.  God supplied the prophet Elijah with his daily bread literally from the beaks of ravens during a time of famine.  We were at the mercy of God’s daily provision.  Manna came in the morning and ran out by nightfall.

The Bearded Wonder and I used to keep a journal together.  He was going to school and working full time and I had two littles in diapers.  We were ships in the night so we left a journal entry for each other to encourage and build one another up.  The verse on the cover was Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It’s a cozy thought.  Feel like prosperity.  But what about the rest of the chapter?

14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.



God sent them into exile?

The Creator and Author, who is love incarnate, sent the people of his heart into a turmoil of isolation in a foreign land?

Yes, and He did it to us, too.  It was so hard to feel that kind of isolation and so good to feel the delicious attention of a Father who loves us enough to make us do hard things.   But now we are home again.  I hope our wanderings are over and that God will plant us like mighty oaks here in this place.  We were gone and wandering and now we are home.

Another circle closed.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I pray that you, where you are, are ready to let the Artist paint your story into life.  It may hurt a little at times.  But the picture is expansive, cosmic, full of meaning.

Here’s to brush strokes.

And to doing hard things.




cover photo by MUILLU on Unsplash