Playdates: Pittsburgh

It’s when the days are busy that my heart spins crazy, the ground shakes under my feet and I carry too much inside to hear the call to play. On these days I know I must try harder, listen better, and make room for the secret heart rendezvous so I don’t lose sight of the beauty. We are One but sometimes I live split in half, breath from the corner of my mouth.
I sit and listen to ten different speakers in five hours and my head is full with all the words and my hand is tired from all the notes. It’s all God-talk, so it feeds, but all this talk makes my feet want to MOVE.
And then he says, I like to think of creation as re-creation. When we create, we are really just echoing God’s creative voice.
He talks about playing in God’s sandbox and my hands are itching to build something, to hold Creator-hand and skip through sand together down to the seaside to fill our bucket in the tide. My blueprints are a lavish castle with leering turrets and a moat that hugs the looming walls. But I am just letting grainy fistfuls slip through my fingers, leaving a powdery residue on my skin.
If you want your building to last, he says, it needs to tell a story.
He should know, he worked at Disney for ten years and now he has revolutionized urban planning. His life is a story of dreaming, of wishing on that star and then stretching high to pluck it from its nesting place. He calls stained glass windows the power points of the day and I smile as I imagine their bullet points.
What am I building?
I ask it in the quiet of my heart and I wonder if my life tells a story worth reading. What would my stained glass window look like?
At six we break for hors d’ oeuvres and I mingle. Joy moves with me through the crowds and I feel his pleasure at this gathering of  image-bearers.
Your people are beautiful, I say. It’s group-play tonight.
Everyone begins to move toward the auditorium hall for evening worship and the main session. I watch the steady stream begin to thin and feel myself breathing with all of me again, feel the space of their exit. I am pulled to the window and I lean my head against the glass. The city is full of lights at night. I squint my eyes and they all mist together, blurring into a brilliant buss of light.
This is where we meet and I am lifted out of flesh into the golden streets and winking lights.

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

Grab the Playdates button–the code is on the sidebar!

Linking up with L.L. Barkat today for On, In, and Around Mondays…

On In Around button

Visit me over at the HighCalling today for our weekly bookclub discussion on The Spirit of Food. Some yummy conversation going on over there.


  1. says

    I heard one of the speakers say that the CCO (ministry that organizes the conference) keeps playfulness in their ministry, which made me think of you and this space.

    And, yes, your life is telling a story that is worth reading. Blessings, friend.

  2. says

    “What am I building?”…..hmmmm, good to ponder. Sometimes I imagine I am building great and mighty things far beyond me because of one small act of Love. Oh how our lives reach outward…well, how they can…living to each days fullest is joy. Not putting any of it in small boxes is wisdom….so abide well with Him and then the ripples will go out in ways we can not imagine. I think I’m very glad I am a playful, child like person who LOVES to take note of amazing things around me so often overlooked by others. We all have our strengths….I do believe I KNOW play. :o)

  3. says

    Hope your visit to Pittsburgh proves beneficial to heart and soul. As an architect, the ideas you are expressing are constantly in mind. I wonder about “revolutionizing” urban planning. There’s nothing new under the sun and urban planning seems to undergo cyclicle change. Hope you might enjoy my Walk With Dog and God. Blessings!

  4. says

    “If you want your building to last, it needs to tell a story.”

    What am I building and what is its story?

    What is He building, and what is my story?

    Love this, Laura! Are you meeting Nancy in person? Others?

    (and you can come paint anytime…there’s still more to do!)

  5. says

    “What would my stained glass window look like?” will stay with me. Beautiful words throughout the post, Laura. The picture is stunning as well.

  6. says

    Your post has left me pondering… what would my stained glass window look like right now… Honestly I’m not sure….

    I am reminded of His words telling me I am a mosaic in the making…

    I just can’t quite make out the images…

  7. says

    oh yeah! it made me happy just to read and think of you being there at Jubilee and remembering all of the memories I had there…I heard Tony Campolo quoted at the Student Conference I was at this weekend with our ministry and I thought of Jubilee, where I heard him speak a couple of times, and at multiple points more and was excited to hear about it!

    So glad it was so good! (not that I’m surprised:)

  8. says

    I love your play-date posts! Because it definitely reminds me of what I need…

    I felt like much of our time in Pittsburgh was “play”. Even though we were doing some strategizing, listening and planning, too. But play is more fun with friends, right? (And food, too)

    Sorry I missed that workshop. I bet I would have been ready to build something, too.

  9. says

    Mel is one of my heroes. I’ll never forget touring Downtown Disney with him. The creator explained his creation. And he was funny.

    That line about buildings telling a story stuck with me too.

    I wondered: What story is embedded in the structure and design of my website? What story is embedded in The High Calling?

  10. says

    This is really cool, Laura — so much to think about here. He (Mel, I think?) sounds incredibly creative and inspiring — I could listen to people like that all day.

    And by the way, everyone has a story — a unique and precious story. You VERY MUCH do — that’s why I love to come here…to read snippets of this story.

    Now what’s this conference you’re at? It sounds intruiging..

    I WILL link up to Playdates, I will. I was nervous at first — didn’t think I was the playing with God type (whatever I mean by that!). But your explanation of solitary time, time outside — that helps. I do love to be outside…so maybe I’ll think on the possibilities of that for a bit.

  11. says

    I heard there were some HighCalling bloggers at Jubilee. Sounds like you were at the Professional track, which I also attended. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you or the others. But yes, it was a game-changer for me. We had about 15 from our church at Professional, and we gathered yesterday am and it’s pretty clear we’re all still thinking about how to live this out. I love your picture of God being pleased at this gathering of image-bearers!

  12. says

    Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

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