We each have a miraculous heart that pumps on valiantly through the summers and winters of our lives, and a brain more complex and unknowable than anything man has ever managed to invent. Rich or poor we all depend for life on the next breathe. So what makes us unique?
Details encoded in our DNA, that intricate combination of genes that make you a once in a lifetime creation, with a fingerprint unlike any other person in the universe. That amazing mix of complexions and complexities, gifts and talents that distinguish you from me and enable you to offer something to the world that no one else in all of history can offer.
Details of our experiences that have made us who we are … the highs and lows … the successes and failures and the memories … your childhood home with the broken doorbell, the taste of your grandmother’s apple pie and the old blue VW that became your first ever car.
Each detail of our life is as unique as we are.
There have been those who’ve cheered you on and believed in you, those who through their awkwardness caused you to rethink life and maybe stimulated you to grow in soil you wouldn’t have chosen. Together you’ve written the details of your life, through tears and hallelujahs.
“Apart from the before, the now has little meaning. The now is only a thin slice of who I am; isolated from the rich deposits of before, it cannot be understood.” Eugene Peterson.
From the moment God formed me in my mother’s womb, he has been intimately involved in the details of my life. He is the master of detail. Nature is testament to that. The minute detail in a bird’s wing, the intricacies of a flower’s markings and the seemingly never-ending diversity of creation that’s splashed across the canvas of the landscape wherever we turn. Is it any wonder that he’s involved in the very details of our lives?
If I’m noticing, I see his fingerprints woven into the fabric of my existence. He is not just a big picture God, but a lover of small details, like a sparrow’s death, a lily in the field and us in the midst of the glory and the grime of our days.
A few years ago I was to take a friend out for lunch and money was tight. That morning as I neared the end of my daily walk, I found $20 on the pavement. After we’d both chosen lunch and I went to pay the bill, it came to precisely $20. There’s an endless stream of moments like that and it’s those small things that grow my faith as I see the sovereign God of the universe stoop down to care for the intimate details of my life.
It seems to me that it’s his purpose and design for us too, to be the carer of the small details of people’s lives. In this increasingly impersonal world that is incapable of satisfying our deep longing for personal connection, valuing and being truly known, it's often the smallest detail that says, “I care”, I see you”, “I understand”.
Love often shouts loudest through the small details.