So I had a great day, getting to walk Pea Island not once, but twice! Morning light was sweeter than afternoon but honestly it just felt great to be outside. So I was walking and praying and singing like I do, when I have the beach to myself, and You challenged me to believe You for something simple and specific. You asked me if I believe what I say, when I say, I am in the right place at the right time. And I said yes.
And then I asked you, why? Why are you able to say that and really mean it, really believe it?
Because I know it is true. It has been proven over and over to me, in my experience. I have evidence, lots of evidence.
And then I reminded you about the verse, Faith is the evidence of things not seen.
Yes. And I think I struggle with that, as I told You today. Because You said, to Thomas, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. So…which is it?
And I told you today, it is both. Sometimes, you are given the gift of faith to believe for something before that something is reality in your experience. But WHY can you believe? Because you have believed before! Because you have received before! Because you trust the process, or in this case, you trust the Person. Thomas needed the same evidence the rest of the disciples had already received–a personal encounter with Me, Risen. This was a huge leap, to believe after witnessing My Crucifixion that I was indeed alive. This required evidence. And what happened after the disciples received their evidence? They shook the world!
If you will consider carefully, any time I have asked you to stretch beyond your doubts, even your doubts about yourself, or your calling, or your gifts, or your hearing from Me, I am building on a framework of evidence you already have. It might be evidence from My speaking to you in the past. It might be testimony or affirmation you have received from someone close to you that you trust, sort of like corroborating evidence that yes, this is possible. Yes, you can do this. Yes, I Am Who I say I Am. Now you are becoming part of the body of evidence for others. Every experience you share of your life with Me, helps build not only your faith but the faith of those who look to you, who listen to you, who are wondering exactly how this connected life, this faith-life we have together actually works. So why don’t you go ahead and write down what it was I prompted you to believe for?
It sounds silly.
It didn’t sound so silly at the time.
No. No, it didn’t. I was walking, and looking for hearts, like I do, and picking up small ones, and You challenged me to believe for a large, white one, like a clam shell one.
And why did I challenge you to believe for that?
So that I could photograph it in a way that would show up in the picture, not straight down, but wide angle, showing the beach as well.
And why did you want to make a photograph like that?
I wanted to show how Your Love might seem small at times, when we are facing something so hard, so heavy, but it is really the central factor, the dominant piece, in the whole landscape of our lives. It anchors us, like an anchor point in a photograph. That is what was really in my thought, now that I have taken the time to put it into words. The shorthand I used with You on the beach was, the image I am meant to make today.
And what happened?
Well, I found one! Not quite right, but it was there. And then another. And then You said, third time is a charm, and I took another couple of steps and there it was. Large, white, perfect. Just what I was looking for!
And didn’t I remind you then, now you have one more piece of evidence? Evidence that indeed we are connected, and that I Am interested in everything, no matter how seemingly small, how trivial, that touches your life?
Yes, yes You did.
And aren’t you forgetting one more thing?
Oh…yes. I moved the shell. I mean, I photographed it in place, and then picked it up to carry it down the beach to the tide pools, to make the image I had in my mind. Or in my heart, no pun intended.
And what did I tell you when you first had the thought?
You told me to follow that impulse, to create what I envisioned. I put a period there, but there wasn’t a period in real time, when we were talking on the beach, because (why is this so hard to write down, hard to share), because You said, follow my impulse, create the image, because I am an artist.
Indeed I did, and indeed you are. So now you have one more heart to share. One more tiny piece of the big puzzle that is My Love for everyone. I say big puzzle because a lot of folks view Me, view My Love, in that way. But that’s okay. At least they are viewing! At least they are questioning. At least they are searching–as I asked you to do, today, for your heart shells. Seek and you shall find. Seek and you shall find evidence! Evidence on which to build greater and greater faith, and a more deeply connected life.