An “I Love You” From God

"I Love You"--God

When Marshall was younger–maybe around 6 or 7–he started finding hearts in nature. Hearts jumped out at him in the shape of a cloud, a broken piece of wood in the forest, the design of bark on a tree, even water marks on paper towels, and stains on furniture. It was as if his eyes were tuned to see the design beyond the obvious, like those pictures that were so popular a few years back–colorful, geometric designs that when stared down, suddenly revealed a “hidden” 3D image.

When Marshall began to share these “hidden” hearts with his third-grade teacher, she wisely pointed him to a creator God, who puts his love into everything in creation. These hearts that kept showing up for Marshall were reminders of God’s intimate involvement in his life. Thus Marshall’s spiritual eyes were opened to the powerful love of his heavenly Father, and the discovery of hearts all around him became a tangible reminder of that love.

Marshall has found these hearts a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness and love. As he has looked to God for help in the valley of loss, he has found these hearts to be simple, yet powerful tools to redirect him to a rest in God and a radiant joy. And that discovery has impacted our family.

Sometimes Marshall has seen a heart when I was too preoccupied to care–until suddenly, like a shock through my spiritual senses, I hear the whisper of my Savior, “Don’t get so busy and focused, that you miss Me!” Marshall’s scavenger hunt for hearts has slowed me down, and even stopped me in my tracks. Tangible reminders of God’s presence has a way of redirecting my heart and my attitude! Now occasionally, our family will randomly see hearts in strange places, and we always call Marshall to take a look, proudly holding up a broken stick, or piece of charcoal from a burned out fire, a flower petal, or other scrap for him to see.

Earlier thisĀ  week we were camping together on the shores of Lake Michigan. (Thus my late post–I had no internet on Tuesday!) Exploring one rocky beach we discovered rows and rows of rock towers created by the passing “artist”. We decided to join in and began to build our own rock tower from the varied rocks that made of the beach. Suddenly, I found a gem! Yes, it was perfectly shaped to look like a heart! These trivial discoveries may seem accidental. And we could shrug them off as such. But given our family’s history and Marshall’s personal journey of faith, we just can’t do that. Instead, each one is a personal “I love you” from God Himself, a reminder of his ultimate gift of eternity in Jesus, and his intimate involvement in each step of our journey in this life.

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