Against the Blue Vault of Heaven

I keep seeing their faces—that small group of survivors I spoke to around the table at the Stroke Support Group last night. I keep seeing their faces—wounded and beautiful—and this morning I am thinking about how this is the way Jesus sees us all. This morning in my Advent journey through Matthew, I read about how he called the fishermen: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John; and those eager faces around the table last night keep returning to me. In his commentary, Barclay talks about how Jesus can do anything with ordinary men and women who give him themselves and I think about the stories we shared last night and I am taken by the gemstones of courage nestled into the setting of an ordinary life.
Wounded and beautiful. That’s me.  
I am thinking about Jesus’ ability to see beauty when Barclay begins describing the Sea of Galilee. It is small, he says. So small that Luke, in his writings, never called it a “sea”. He always referred to it as a “lake.” But he goes on to say:

 “…It is in the shape of an oval, wider at the top than at the bottom. It lies in that great rift in the earth’s surface in which the Jordan valley runs, and the surface of the Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level. The fact that it lies in this dip in the earth’s surface gives it a very warm climate and makes the surrounding countryside phenomenally fertile. It is one of the loveliest lakes in the world. In The Land and the Book, W.M. Tomson describes it: ‘Seen from any point of the surrounding heights it is a fine sheet of water—a burnished mirror set in a framework of rounded hills and rugged mountains, which rise and roll backward and upward to where [Mount] Hermon hangs the picture against the blue vault of heaven.’”

This is the place Jesus chose for his ministry. This place of beauty nestled into a crack in the earth. And it occurs to me that this is an apt description for the way he brings out the beauty in each of us: he hangs our picture “against the blue vault of heaven.”

That’s how I want to see. He makes all things beautiful. 

With Emily today:


  1. Amy Hunt says

    Yes. The now . . . the where we are . . . it’s all for purpose, and beautiful as it is cast “against the blue vault of heaven.” We think it should be better or different, but it simply is. To see beauty — here — is our worship today and every day.

  2. DeanneMoore says

    Such truth and beauty in these words. I took in a deep breath of Hope thinking about Jesus at the lake looking into the eyes of the broken. thank you

  3. kendalprivette says

    i wish right now, sitting in hospital with my pop, that you were my in-real-life writing, reading, nursing friend….

  4. says

    And yes, Laura, don’t we learn the most profound lessons with those we are privileged to sit with as they share their stories. And often, there are no words. Only the invitation to sit and listen for the Master’s voice. Together …

  5. Emily Wierenga says

    oh Laura. I wish we’d had time for tea together, just you and me, at Allume. I have so much to learn from you. And I miss you.

  6. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    I once heard the expression that just like the thorn bush in the desert was good enough for God to use to show His glory, ordinary broken people are very acceptable in the eyes of God. We can come with all our thorns, for it poses no problem to Him at all!
    Blessings XX

  7. says

    Crazy mind shift is true for me too, Shannon. I think this embrace is a lifelong journey for some of us. Yes, I like to imagine that Jesus carries my picture in his wallet 🙂

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