Something Was Missing

Something Was Missing

“The world was my oyster, but where was the pearl?

Who’d dream I would find it in one little girl?”

These lyrics come from the song, “Something Was Missing,” in the Broadway musical, Annie, with lyrics by Martin Charnin.

The same words could effectively sum up the main point in Genesis 1:

God created the heavens—an endless expanse of color and light and glory…

Hubble Space

Then, He made the earth—land and sky and water…

earth land sky and water

And it teemed with life as plant and animal kingdoms multiplied in unimaginable splendor and detail…

Creation splendor


The sound of laughter and running feet.

The wonder of a smile returned.

The beauty of a hot tear rolling down a flushed cheek.

Words spoken.

Shared meanings.

The heart beating for reasons other than circulation.

The soaring of spirit that comes with worship.

The joining of mind, spirit, body and soul.

Yes, something was missing in creation–mainly us. Continue reading

Being Cherished

Being Cherished

Many years ago, I was sitting in a counselor’s office completely brokenhearted over my marriage. The counselor was a nice person, but she had no real guidance to offer. Her therapeutic approach involved hours of long-faced listening. After that, her advice was simple: “The answers are within you.”

Right. I wouldn’t have been there if that were so.

When you are broken, you stumble around looking for some kind of solace. I was vulnerable, and unfortunately, I received a lot of bad advice in those days.

But God is a God who sees. Hagar knew that. (Gen. 16:13)

On my last appointment with that particular counselor, something took me by surprise. She had me lean back on her couch and asked me to close my eyes. What now, I thought. She said, “I want you to think about your Higher Power, whatever that is for you.” I argued inside. Why was I paying good money for this?

But as she left me alone, I entered into a vision.Continue reading

The Tone of God’s Voice

The Tone of God’s Voice

“Her thoughts at the meeting today were critical!” he texted.

What’s that supposed to mean? Were her words were extremely important, or shockingly negative?

Everyone knows how a text message or an email can be misunderstood because we miss the tone in someone’s voice. The same set of words can be said with appreciation or hostility. Tone is vitally important, because as Don Miller said, there are always two conversations going on—the one with words, and the one that reveals feelings. The latter makes all the difference.

How can we better understand the tone of God’s voice if all we have is the Bible? Like a text or an email, what if we get it wrong? What if we experience a boatload of condemnation when reading the Old Testament? Or how about Paul’s statements concerning women: were they condescending or matter-of-fact, and would knowing his tone of voice change our perception? And ultimately, if God is the Author of all Scripture, how can we go beyond the printed words to experience His heart?

Well for one thing, that’s why God came in person. Jesus’s earthly life gave us a deeper look at the heart of God. He could’ve come in His glory as “the King of kings.” Instead He entered the normal way, as a baby, making Himself accessible to ordinary people. He entered the fray, ignoring all kinds of personal-space rules…speaking to the woman at the well, welcoming little children, and touching unclean lepers. He let doubting Thomas feel His nail-pierced hands and honored a prostitute who bathed His feet in perfume.

He even washed feet.

In short—Jesus was completely approachable. Actions help convey the spirit and tone of someone’s words.

Still, there has to be more. Continue reading