God Makes Beautiful Things
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God Makes Beautiful Things
Sometimes with authors or tv shows or a variety of other things I have to give them more than one try, before I pronounce a final verdict. Sometimes by doing this I clearly confirm that whatever it is, is not my cup of tea. But sometimes things grow on me and I may even come to love it.
Such is the story of myself and author Max Lucado. I don’t remember what he had written but the first time I read something by this so called “amazing author” I did not like it. I remember thinking he seemed pompous and judgmental or at least what I read that he had written made me think that.
It took a while before I read him again. But when I did, I discovered once I opened my mind and heart that he was an excellent story teller. I began to love his tone and tenor. I didn’t always agree with everything he had to say but even when I disagreed, I felt I called walk away agreeing to disagree agreeably.
One story he wrote that I love is about The Land of Coats.
Bob was born into the land of coats! His mother loved the color blue and made Bob's first cost a lovely shade of blue. Every time she noticed her son in his lovely blue coat, she cheered, "Yes, Bob!" He felt good in his blue coat, but Bob had to grow up and go to work. So, he put on his best blue coat and slipped out of the house, going to his new job. The people on the street saw him and began to yell, "Yuk, Yuk!" Their coats were yellow, and they hated blue.
Into a store ducked Bob and bought a yellow coat, put it over his blue coat and continued on his way to work. The people cheered, "Yea! Bob!" Bob felt good in his yellow coat over his blue coat. He stepped into his boss’s office to get his assignment for that first day. He sat waiting for this boss, who came in, looked at him and yelled, "Yuk!" Bob jumped up, took off the yellow coat and stood waiting for approval in his blue coat. The boss yelled, "Double Yuk! Bob. Here at work we wear green coats!" With that, Bob slipped back on the yellow coat, over the blue coat and put the green coat on top. "Yea! Bob!" said the boss. As he left for work, Bob felt good.
After work, Bob slipped off the green coat, put it under the yellow coat and walked proudly home. He opened the door, went inside, as his mother looked at him with a "Yuk" on her lips. Bob quickly changed coats, putting the lovely blue one on top. Mom whispered, "Yea! Bob!"
Bob got so good at changing coats until he became a popular man around town. He changed coats so swiftly until he had folks fooled into believing that whatever coat they had on, he had it on too. Bob loved hearing the crowd say, "Yea! Bob!" He couldn't stand hearing "Yuk" Bob was elected mayor of the Town of Coats and had a faithful constituency. One day he heard a noise outside of his window and then heard a pounding on his door. The Yellow Coats brought in a man wearing no coat. "Kill him!" they cried, "he doesn't fit in!" In his yellow coat, Bob said, "Leave him to me."
"Man, where is your coat?" he asked. The man said, "I wear no coat." Bob replied, "everybody wears a coat. What color do you choose?" The man responded the second time, "I wear no coat."
By then the Green Coats had gathered under Bob's window. Running to the window, his green coat on top, Bob yelled down to them, "I have it under control." The Green Coats shouted, "Kill him!"
At this time his mother entered into the room, and Bob slipped his blue coat on top. "Bob, where is his blue coat?" Mother asked, The Man replied, "I don't wear a coat." "Kill him," said Mother as she left Bob and the man alone.
"Man, said Bob, you have to wear a coat, or they are going to kill you."
"Bob," said the man, "you need to decide to stop wearing your different coats. Take them off, take them all off and let the world see who you truly are."
"Take them off? Take them all off?" asked an incredulous Bob. The man said again, "Bob, you have to make a choice."
As the crowd kept crying, "Kill him!" Bob washed his hands, opened the door and marched the man toward sure death. The man looked at Bob, with one final word, "Choose."
Bob was left alone with his three coats and the questions ringing in his mind, "Take them off? Take them all off?"
Far too often it seems we worry so much about what the world says about us and forget that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. And we try so hard to meet the worlds expectation of who we school be we forget who and whose we are.
Its easy to want to be a different person at work or with family or at social events or church or in private but God says we can just be…because we are all beautifully made. In fact, when we cover who we are with our “different coats” we are covering up God’s masterpiece which God entitled – YOU!
The message translates the verse this way Body and Soul, I am marvelously made!
Remember you are enough – in fact you are more than enough! And then remind folks you meet with both your words and actions that they too are masterpieces made by God.
And then treat both them and you as you would any great masterpiece - with respect, gentleness, kindness and LOVE.
Have a great week.
PS: I was inspired to look at this text from my time in Montreat and especially this song they shared with the conference. It is worth the watch.