I have stared at this picture for over an hour. Do you see the way these two little fellas look at their dad? His name is Jorge. This past month, Catalyst Resources International has come alongside him by the recommendation of local pastors. Two separate teams from the US, from different churches and states have been used by God to provide him, his wife, Carmelita, and their four children a radically changed future.
Can you imagine having nothing? I've stared at the picture above because it represents the past, the present, and the future. Two right-foot shoes are abandoned in the mud. How difficult would it be to place your feet in two mis-matched shoes and walk? How symbolic is this for your own life?
If you look closely you'll see a toothbrush in the mud. Jacob Harbron, member of Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, unearthed it as he dug a footer for the chicken coup for this family. I see great symbolism in the dust. Two right feet for the days I've spent in my life trying to move forward in frustration with misalignment. I've felt like a worn, used, and discarded toothbrush thrown in the dirt.
But this picture has so much more to offer to us. It shows us a loving father, sitting beside the result of his labor, taking the time to be present for his sons. The look in their eyes is magnified by the gaze of his own. This man would do anything for these boys. Even though they sit in the mud of misguided shoes and an abandoned toothbrush, they are lifted far above these symbols of hopelessness by the presence and love of their father.
I look at this picture and I realize that my Father is taking the time to sit alongside his creation, and His eyes are looking into mine. He is pleading that I see Him. He is pleading that I understand that everything has changed and He has come to make all things new.
As you look at this picture, I want you to understand that your circumstance is greater than the mud, greater than the toothbrush, greater than the ripped and abandoned shoes... your circumstance is defined by the gaze of your Father that kneels down beside His creation, to focus on you.
You are worth more than everything in this picture. It is all there for you. The failures are there and you see them... sure. But take heart when you look at them. You've earned the ability to reflect on your hard times. You can recognize the misguided steps, the abandoned pursuits, and still... you see a Father that kneels down to draw you to Himself.
Be the child in this photo. Look up at a Father that you trust amidst the mud and garbage of life. Look up at a Father that has built a hope, a future, and offers meaning for your life. Look up... Look. Up.
Cast your gaze upward. Give thanks for the good things that He has done. Let your mourning turn to praise. The Father is kneeling before you.
My God, this is powerful.