My Imperfect Heart


So… this is an important picture. It’s not going to win any awards. No doubt the photo could use some improvement as well. But still, it’s an important picture and I’d like to share why.

First of all:

I made it. This is the work of my own hands. This is my time and my energy and my worship of rest on a page. I undertook it as a representation of my Father restoring my own heart.


My parents gave me this book and the markers. Some weeks ago I made my third visit to the psychiatric unit of the local hospital. Days are long and sterile there (even if you need the solitude and encounter Jesus while there). I had asked them to bring me a book and some markers to help break up the days. I was only a little surprised when they showed up with the nicest set they could find. A beautiful, hard-cased collection of super-fine tipped markers and a lovely book. I couldn’t help but note the price-tag on the back and gulp a little bit. Not only were they coming everyday, faithfully to visit, but the love was lavish. And it reminded me… God’s love is so lavish. When we are broken. When we cry out to Him, He is not waiting with stingy fist clenched tight. He has our best in mind. He gives us Himself. He gives fully. He gives freely. He gives joyfully. That’s how they gave and every time I use the markers I’m reminded of His tender love for me. Especially when I’m at my weakest.


That ugly dark leaf. So, I’m learning a lot of new skills right now. Thirty-five years is a long time to “return to (your) vomit”. You know… those old thought patterns that keep you exactly where you’ve been. Well one of mine has to do with perfectionism. With everything looking as it should – being as it should. Well, I started this particular picture in pointillism because I found that the markers weren’t well suited for coloring. However, I couldn’t pull myself away from the idea of a bold leaf to contrast the pink flower. So, I tried it…. and it looked terrible (Sub-note: Another life lesson; use things for what they’re best for. Don’t try to make it something its not).

Crap! Now I just ruined my whole stupid picture. This was supposed to be a representation of my heart and I just messed it up! 

Then I could feel His Spirit speaking to my heart. “Yes, it is your heart… and you can change. You can do it differently. It doesn’t have to look perfect to be perfect. It can be a perfect reminder of what am doing in you. A new thing!” The nagging O.C.D. I usually experience dissipated with His words. I could see the beauty in it. The value of watching myself change, and keeping it as a reminder to not go back to the old way of doing things.

Father, for anyone today… anyone who needs your touch. Anyone who needs courage to change. I pray they would let you in. They would feel your love and your acceptance of them where they are. And they would see your fantastic ability to work in their heart, mind, life – to make something beautiful of all our scribbles. You are so good. Thank you for the access you have given us through Jesus. You have been so faithful to me. Please let each person here, experience your gentle restoring kindness today. To know You always. To see you as You are. Thank you. Thank you for the small slow way, dot on dot, you’re filling in my heart. And for the way that you fill in theirs. Little by little. Faithfully, tenderly, working to make us new in You! Help me, help anyone else who wants to, surrender to your Loving Hands. To experience that newness. In the precious name of the Lamb. Amen.


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