Before and After the Dots (Based on You Are Special, Max Lucado and MasterWork, Summer 2009)

My earthly existence began with the negative “dots” entitled “orphan” and “unwanted” in a Middle Eastern society that firmly adheres to honoring the family unit.


Your sovereign hand placed me in an American family where you knew the negative “dots” – some real, some perceived, some self-imposed, and  some placed without permission – would collect and stick in the recesses of my mind through my formative years and into adulthood. The negative “dots” would accumulate with speed and little self-awareness, and each  had  its own name  – “hurt”, “shy”, “anger”, “undeserving”,  and “justified”,  just to list a few.  The positive “dots” had long surrendered and retreated on my mind’s battlefield, and the longstanding victory by the negative “dots” made the memory wonder if there had even been a fight for ownership.


After four decades, I got used to the negative “dots”.  Moreover, my “dots” gave me a reason to point a finger of blame.  I had come to depend on the “dots” for self- justification and entitlement for my thought life. The irony of having a “dot” collection is that I felt securely insecure – about myself, my Creator, and my life in general.  Oddly, without even thinking about it, all the “dots” that stuck to my mind had now created a life stuck in the motions of every day life. I was blinded by so many “dots” that I couldn’t even see who I truly was – the “dots” not only obscured  my view of self, but also how I viewed the world and people around me.


After being “orphaned” once again with back to back deaths of my adoptive parents, You decided it was time for “dot” removal.  To remove the “dots” would be a painful process because they had been securely stuck for a long time.  “Dot” removal would necessitate a daily process of coming to You.  With each painful removal of real and perceived “dots” came Your soothing salve of grace to heal the raw impressions the “dots” had left behind. 


After a tedious process of “dot” removal, I no longer saw an orphan with a collection of “dots” that had made life far too sticky.  For the first time, I saw  the  “me” I was meant to be without the “dots” – the “ me” that  You saw all along, but that I couldn’t see for myself.  The “me” that bears Your image. You promise I am a transformed creation when I come to You – a new Self, unhindered by a dotted mindset and immovable lifestyle that results from too many “dots” sticking around for too long.


And now that my “dots” have fallen, I fall at the feet of my Creator, the love of my life. You, the remover of my “dots” and the lover of each life – with or without “dots”.


Having my “dots” removed, however, is just the beginning.  Now I must gracefully serve, speak, and be a steward in telling others how you removed my “dots” so they can know that You can remove theirs too.







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