Wednesday, June 4, 2014

From Mess to Masterpiece

The picture above may look like a watery mess, but it is so much more.

"I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys.  I will turn the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into springs."  Isaiah 41:18  

A friend of mine and fellow Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study Team Member, Melissa Sherlin (Hey Melissa!!) gave me this verse before I left for a recent ministry trip, to serve on the Deeper Still Team in Central Illinois.  I live in Knoxville, TN now, but I am originally from the heartland of the home of Lincoln.  One of the missions of my trip was to go to Champaign, IL and pray healing over the land at the site where I had an abortion 20 years earlier.

This picture was taken on the University of Illinois campus at the exact location where my feet rested twenty years ago while I erupted in anger at some sweet pro-life college student.  I remembered the location because it was under the white blossoms of a cherry tree, the only cherry tree on the quad.  This unnamed college student standing for life, stood by white crosses under the blossoms as they rained down like snow covering the fresh Spring ground.  She representing the unborn, who were never given the chance to live.  My hurt and wounds spewed out all over her tenderness and I ran in despair, dead inside.

I have written about these white crosses once before.  I use to cringe at white crosses even up to about a year ago.  However, God has continued to heal me and I am so thankful to say that I now embrace white crosses, as they honor the graves of the grave-less.

I prayed at three locations that day for healing over the land.  I pray at the abortion clinic.  I prayed at the site of the white crosses, and I prayed at a third place that I didn't anticipate until on our trip.

The third location is another story for another time.

As I look at the mess of water and leaves and mud above, I don't see a dirty compile of mire and grime. Instead, I see beauty.  I see the reflection of a tree bursting to bud with fresh blooms of summer.  I see drought turned into springs of life.  I see colors of new growth sprouting from the soft well-nourished ground.

It is a reflection of how the Lord brought me out of the miry clay where I was imprisoned, and poured transforming Living Water into a life that was dry and dead.

When I look at myself and my life, I no longer see a dirty mess. I see beauty.  I see new growth and fresh blooms exploding with God's sweet fragrance.  I see a Tree full of life, full of vibrant colors, well-nourished and well-watered with God's Word.  He has completely transformed my life and taken something ugly and molded me into His beautiful creation.

God has given me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  He calls me an oak of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, for the display of HIS GLORIOUS SPLENDOR, from a MESS TO A MASTERPIECE FOR HIS GLORY.

He calls you the same.    

More pictures from praying to heal the land (compliments of Kay Smith!)...

Spring 2014 Deeper Still Ministry Team  (Beauty for Ashes...Redeemer's Glory!)


  1. Loved the way you brought out the message from mess to masterpiece! when I first looked at your picture I seen the beauty that was coming from it :)
    OBS Proverbs 31 Ministry Volunteer, Gail Swinson

  2. Praise the Lord for the healing flowing in your life!! I did see just the mud, but thank you for reminding me that God's perspective is different from mine and I need to look for the beauty in everything. :)

  3. Oh Sue. I love you sister. Love this blog - it made me cry. You are an awesome masterpiece. Debbie W. (Proverbs 31 Ministry OBS Team)

  4. Thank you Debbie, Valerie, and Gail.

  5. Sue this is so beautiful! When I look at you I see beauty too. I love how God is taking those places that the enemy used against you
    for so long and using it to reach others. Isaiah 61 is one of my favorites also! I love you dear friend and I am so thankful for your friendship.


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