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It’s somewhat funny, a couple of times recently I’ve been in a situation where people have asked for a testimony. Can we just have a good testimony to the Lord, here? And I cannot answer, I cannot respond, I cannot shrink that down into a small enough chunk. How in the world do you describe the goodness of God in such a tiny nutshell? In Him I have my breath and being…..

It strikes me as kind of funny because I’ve got  a couple of thousand posts on this blog alone, so obviously I don’t lack for words. I have so, so many words, but words feel totally inadequate, as if we should have progressed to some better form of communication by now. I’d paint a picture or sing a song or write some amazing symphony, but alas, I can do none of those things.

I don’t have a good tale about how I was an unrepentant sinner out drinking, riding motorcycles, and getting tattoos, although I have certainly been an unrepentant and defiant sinner, bound and determined  to go my own way. In my case however, I didn’t suddenly come to know the Lord, He has always been there. I suppose that is a testimony right there, His grace has never left me, His grace has never said, “I’ll catch you on the other side when you’re ready to come back to me.”

His grace has always said, “okay, I’m game, let’s try it your way.” This is never going to work out, but  I’m coming with you just the same. That’s the Lord I know, a real friend, a real Father too, one with infinite patience. This child is my blood, as in I literally shed my blood for her. Right or wrong, she is mine. That’s the very epitome of grace.

It’s kind of wonderful, I often think of fathers when I think of grace, in this case my own father- in- law, by many recollections not a very nice person, and yet all I ever saw was his kindness. He used to send over plates of french fries and gravy, smothered in bacon bits and cheese. He used to pay for my coffee on the way out the door. He used to give me rides and never asked why I was stranded in the middle of nowhere at 5 in the morning.

Why do I love the Lord? Because I  was an abandoned, neglected, defiant kid and He made His presence  known to me. Because I was a victim of far too much ugliness and He never left me. Because who am I that He is even mindful of me? Mindful He has been, too. When I had no idea what grace even looked like, He put examples of it right in my path. When I was is danger of falling off a cliff, there He was to reel me back in.

It’s the personal touches that really matter, the silly things so easily dismissed, “silly” in the sense that is feels irrational, illogical to believe that the Creator of the universe would have time to comfort me, to reassure me. It is true however, God is a big God, He can do multiple things at once. It is not that I am so important, as it is that He is so good, that He leaves no man behind, or in this case, no girl behind. He takes care of His own.

I used to have hard time accepting that, believing it. The idea that God cares for each of us, deeply, personally, intimately, can be hard to wrap your brain around, but it is true. He knows every a hair on our head, every step we take.

He leaves me speechless sometimes, befuddled,  bedazzled, left blathering something nonsensical like, “God is good” or “God is real,” as if those simple phrases explain everything. In truth they say everything that needs to be said and yet they leave out the details, the flavor,  the depth of understanding that can only come from knowing Him.

There was a recent troll, a real life troll on the ground,  who quite smugly  asked, “where is your God now?” I looked down into the gravel, caught off guard, hurt by such insensitivity, waiting for the despair to wash past me, when there I among the rocks I spied it. This tiny, little, pink haired troll lurking among the rocks.  A little plastic troll left behind by a child perhaps, but such a timely little thing, such a reassuring treasure.

Where is my God now? He’s lurking in the gravel, hiding in a child’s forgotten toy, always present, always helping to shape my perceptions, to guide my perspective. That little plastic troll meant everything to me, it triggered my understanding and my sense of humor, it gave me strength and made me look up in the midst of heartache and declare, “God is in the gravel sometimes, in a little plastic troll, and standing there steadfast within my unwavering faith.”