A few months ago, I heard a preacher share a story about how when he was a little boy he’d sit under the table where his mother would be working on her embroidery. He’d sit there and watch as she worked and all he could see was a mess of strings. From his perspective there was only chaos.
His mother’s perspective was much different because she had the view from on top. Where she sat, she saw a beautiful picture unfolding. Not chaos, but something beautiful.
It’s all about perspective.
If you read my previous post you already know perspective has been something I’ve been contemplating a lot lately.
You see, I’m realizing my view isn’t the complete picture. It’s a very limited one-sided view.
Then, to confirm this even further, one day as I’m scrolling through my FaceBook feed I see this picture:
Corrie ten Boom lived in the Netherlands during World War II. She, along with her family, helped many Jews escape the Holocaust– saving many lives while endangering their own. The Nazis did eventually find out about the Ten Booms and imprisoned them.
Corrie was imprisoned for 10 months when she was released. According to Corrie, she later learned her release was a clerical error. Her response to that was, “God does not have problems — only plans.”*
In the picture above, you’ll notice a piece of embroidery that Corrie would take with her when she would share her story with audiences. She would hold up the side which showed the tangled mess of threads and share how that was our perspective. We can pray for things and ask God to move in certain ways, but sometimes (many times) things don’t turn out the way we hoped and prayed they would.
And yet, when we turn the embroidery over, we see a clear picture. All the while, God had been acting and working. We just couldn’t see it clearly from our view. What we need is His view from on top.
All of my life, I’ve been seeing things from the wrong side. I’ve seen the chaos and wondered what God could possibly be doing. I question and interrogate Him in a search for answers. I point to the mess and cry, “Look at this, God! How could you let this happen?!”
There have been things that have happened to me that have been outside my control. I’ve walked through some dark valleys and I’m not here to make it seem like all of a sudden I see good in any of it. I still hurt. And I still question. There are nights I stand in my shower weeping because I just don’t get it.
And that’s just it. I don’t think I’ll ever really get it. As much as I pray to see things like God sees them, my view is still limited. All I can do is learn to trust the Artist more. So, that’s what I’m doing.
Trusting that His view on top is better than anything I can see at the moment and that this mess is actually being woven into a beautiful masterpiece.
*wikipedia.com (You can also read more of Corrie’s story in “The Hiding Place”)