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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

By Debbie Roome


Three phone calls. Three emotional bombs that shattered my life.

A week later, I sat surrounded by the fallout, trying to make sense of it all. “I’m so confused, God. How could You let this happen?” Pushing the papers aside, I pulled my journal across the desk. Maybe writing about it would help. I started by listing the phone calls.

“Hayley, I’ve been retrenched.”
“Mrs Baxter, your son’s been in an accident.”
“Honey, Dad’s been diagnosed with cancer.”

Words started to flow from my pen.

It’s not fair, God. You said all things work together for good but I don’t understand how. I’m sitting here surrounded by medical bills that add up to thousands and at the end of the month, Simon will be unemployed. What’s going to happen to us? What will happen if we lose the house? And what about Matthew? Will he regain full use of his leg? I hate to see him wired up with pulleys and ropes. He’s too small, too young to bear such a burden.

I paused to drag an angry fist across my eyes.

And why did you let Dad get sick? He’s only fifty-five. Surely You could give him another decade, not just a couple of months? Why, God, why? I really believed the scripture you gave me a few weeks ago.

I flipped back through my journal and read aloud. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for a hope and a future.”

“Mommy.” Ben was sobbing as he ran down the passage. My stomach clenched. How much more could go wrong?
“I’m in the study, Ben.”

I closed my journal but continued to question God. “I’m really confused, Lord. Nothing is making sense at the moment. Are you doing something in our lives or is this an attack from the enemy? Please help me understand what’s happening.”

Ben burst into the room, clutching a toy against his chest. “It broke Mommy. My kaleidoscope broke.”

“Oh, Sweetie. Bring it here. Let me see if I can fix it.” Grubby hands spilled kaleidoscope bits all over my desk. “I’ll tell you what. Let’s get you some cookies and milk and you can have a snack while I put this back together.”

A few minutes later, I set the pieces out and realised it was a minor problem. The clear plastic cap had popped off the end, spilling ragged fragments of plastic. I ran my fingers across the transparent splinters of gold, crimson and sky as I heard a quiet whisper in my soul.

“Look and listen.”

“Is that You, God?”

I cupped the plastic bits in my palm and lifted them to eye level. Could this confusion of plastic really create amazing beauty? I tipped them into place and snapped the cap into position.

“Listen to what I am saying.”

The patterns were exquisite. Jewels of cascading light. Illuminated stars and snowflakes. Graceful swirls and glittering octagons. Each twist brought a new design and formation.

“The bits haven’t changed. Only your viewpoint.”

I was still gazing into the kaleidoscope when Ben came running in. “Is it fixed, Mommy? Is it working again?”

“As good as new.”

He ran off happy as I opened my journal to continue writing.

I understand God. You can take the rough, ugly things in my life, the fragments of confusion and turn them into something beautiful. The things that have happened are hard. I still don’t understand them, but I believe you can bring good from them.

I felt a peace flood my heart as I penned the last line of my entry, a prayer to God.

Lord, I pray you always help me to look at life with kaleidoscope eyes.


Scripture references:
Romans 8:28
Jeremiah 29:11

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This article has been read 1277 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/23/07
What a wonderful illustration. Good work.
Dianne Janak08/23/07
YES! I like to call it going to the mountaintop to regain new perspective... what a great illustration of reframing. LOVED it.. this is a keeper... very wise and useful lesson here...
Dee Yoder 08/24/07
I'll never look at a kaleidoscope the same way again! What great perspective you illustrated in this entry. The story flows nicely, and the MC is warm, honest, and human. You created realistic dialogue for your characters, too.
Joanne Sher 08/24/07
I love love LOVE the imagery of the kaleidoscope - what a poignant piece, with a so-needed message masterfully presented.
Jacqueline Zerres08/25/07
How familiar the questions are to each of us when the hard places don't make sense. How wise of God to use simple lessons (a boy and a toy) to grasp the enormity of his love.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/25/07
This is a wonderful devotional. Great observations without being preachy.
Laurie Walker08/26/07
Mom's are supposed to be able to fix anything, right? So what happens when they can't? Good thing God is always there, even if we aren't looking with the proper eyes.

Absolutely beautiful.
Jacquelyn Horne08/27/07
Wonderful reference to God's view of our confusion.
Linda Watson Owen08/28/07
Yes, such an inspirational piece here! A kaleidoscope of effective story-telling! Thank you!
Beth LaBuff 08/28/07
What a great illustration. It was comforting to read. As always, your writing is wonderful!
Jan Ackerson 08/28/07
Wow! What a wonderful object lesson! I won't forget this one for a long time.
George Parler 08/28/07
Excellent life lesson through a child's toy. Wonderful writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/30/07
Really beautiful, well qualified to place
Kristen Hester08/30/07
Beautiful. I so love the lesson this teaches. You are gifted.
Sheri Gordon08/30/07
Congratulations on your EC. What a great picture to have -- very original. And your writing is very good -- it flows so smoothly. Nice job.