7 10 2011

The bright white of the tail lights caught me off guard. We were driving through an intersection in the city and noticed a taxi that had made a wrong turn onto a one-way street. It was stuck. Traffic was coming at it from the opposite direction. Lights glared. Horns honked. We watched, unsure how to help. The taxi was in a dangerous position. The driver’s only choice was to put the car in reverse and make a u-turn in the middle of the road.

It was strange to see a taxi going the wrong way down a one-way street. There were signs clearly pointing drivers in the right direction. The flow of the cars was a sure clue that this traffic moved in a specific path. But the driver missed it. Whether because he was new, or unfamiliar with the roads, or distracted, or lost, he made a wrong turn and ended up someplace that put him in jeopardy.

I know how he feels. Sometimes I need to make a u-turn myself. There are days where I end up going the wrong way. I make a wrong turn, lose my way, and end up somewhere I don’t need to be. I feel stuck, blinded by the glare of missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. I panic when I see headlights where I expected taillights. I am embarrassed that others can see me mired in the middle of a mess.

The good news is that God is a God of U-Turns. He specializes in turning us around, pointing us in the right direction, and showing us the way. Heaven rejoices when God helps sinners make a u-turn out of a wrong turn. He is always willing to take us by the hand and do whatever is necessary to get us headed toward home. He takes what is stuck and sanctifies it. He covers our panic with His peace. He transforms our shame into celebration.

My Jesus Resolution today is to remember that it is okay to make a u-turn. God loves u-turns. U-turns are the action of a heart that realizes that moving toward God is always a move in the right direction. It doesn’t matter how I ended up on the wrong road. What matters is that I am willing to change direction. U-turns highlight the truth that God is in the transformation business. He loves to take what is broken and bruised and give it new life and new purpose. When we put ourselves in His hands, He turns us around and points us to the truth that Jesus is the Way.

Nana Blankets

9 12 2009

When my children were babies, my mom made each of them two kinds of quilts for their rooms. The first was their crib blanket, but it is so much more to my kids. They call it their “Nana Blanket.” Even though they have outgrown their cribs, these Nana Blankets are infinitely precious to them. They have been everywhere with us. They have been washed a hundred times, thrown up on, and gotten wet with their tears. They have been used to chase away monsters, keep warm when chilled with fever, be a superhero, wrap baby dolls, and to pick them up when the world has gotten them down. They can wrap up into those Nana Blankets and feel warm, safe, loved, and 100% accepted because they know that when they are wrapped in their Nana Blankets, they are wrapped in their Nana’s love.

The other kind of quilt she made them is a wall-hanging quilt. They are beautiful. They used to hang by their beds and decorate their rooms. People would come in and “ooh” and “aah” over them. But they would get dusty. They cannot be played with or touched. Eventually, they were taken down and put away because they no longer looked “right” in a big kid’s room.

Which quilt do you think my kids treasure most? I don’t even have to ask. They love the soft, warm, not so pristine Nana Blankets. The wall hangings wait in storage. The Nana Blankets are still found on their beds.

I see Jesus in those quilts. Is Jesus your wall hanging or your Nana Blanket? Does He hang on a wall and decorate your life, but is never touched, gets rather dusty, and sometimes looks out of place? Or is He a little worn around the edges from being held so tight, loved on, laughed with, and soaked with tears? Make Jesus your Nana Blanket. It’s okay if you get sin sickness on Him. He can just wash it in His blood. He is able to dry away your tears. Most of all, when you wrap Him around you, you will be safe and loved and completely at home.