Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Recently my son had the opportunity to help create a large mosaic honoring our hometown as part of a class art project. (Awesome activity, Mrs Mosely). The piece is proudly displayed on the wall of our county library. A few evenings ago my parents, husband and I went to examine the masterpiece. It is created with images that reflect the history of our community. Beautiful.

My husband was getting an up close look at the handiwork. As he stood only a foot away, he struggled to make out one of the images. He questioned what it might be, to which my mother responded, "Step back a little and take another look." He did so. As he did, the familiar object began to take shape. My chemistry teacher of a husband, could now clearly recognize the beaker on display. (Actually, it is an Erlenmeyer flask, but you get the idea.)

I thought how relevant that experience is to life. So often from our close up perspective, we are unable to make sense of what we see in our lives.  We struggle to understand situations. We wrestle to make sense of problems. We search for solutions to trials we cannot comprehend.  It is only when we are able to step back, that we can clearly see the full picture and gain some insight. Sometimes stepping back takes time. Sometimes it requires distancing ourselves. Sometimes it takes someone saying, "Step back a little and take another look."

I don't know how many times in my life I have had to step back from an issue to really understand it. Stepping back isn't always easy. Sometimes it means giving up our illusion of control. That can be tough, but it is necessary. This all makes me think of a verse in 1 Corinthians 13:12,  "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." Some of life's mosaics may not become clear this side of heaven. From our perspectives we may only catch glimpses of the bigger picture. It may not be clear how our circumstances are interwoven to create a beautiful design, but they are.

When you find yourself staring at your life and not comprehending what you see, think of the mosaic. Take a step back and look from a different perspective. Sometimes that is all it takes to get some clarity.  When it doesn't become clear, don't give up hope. Each event in your life is like a tile in a mosaic, going together to create a beautiful design. Some tiles have to be cracked and broken to create the image. It may not make sense from up close, and it may hurt a little (or a lot), but someday when you step back, you will get the picture!

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