Getting the right angle

At 8:18 tonight, I grip my knife and stare at squares.

I’m prepping for an event for which I’ve designed a kind of “pixel” motif, where colored squares of various sizes will be affixed to the scribing that I do. I’ll draw on some of them. Letter on others. Some will just go up as a color accent.

I spent much of today building and lettering a large sign. Along the way, I spray-mounted colored paper onto boards and carefully cut out a small and varied army of squares – way more than I’ll need. But that’s the fun: finding which one will fit the moment and make it into the official, artistic record.

Throughout today, an obscure Scripture verse has been nudging my brain:

These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married… (1 Chronicles 4:17)

I warned you it was obscure! A few days ago, I was reading through the genealogies in the beginning of Chronicles and found this. And I thought: here is an untold story! Some guy named Mered wedded a daughter of the Pharoah of Egypt! How do we not know more about this? Like the ancestor I found in my family’s records described as “killed by Indians,” or Arthur Conan Doyle's off-handed reference in a Sherlock story to the "giant rat of Sumatra," it begs for more information.

But it was more important to God that we know how Mered and his children fit into the flow of the history of his people. The royal wife is an afterthought. And so God chooses what stories from our lives will ultimately fit into the larger context of his heavenly kingdom.

I often think wrongly about all this. I focus on my big achievements – the work that I’ve done, the classes I’ve taught, change that I’ve led. But those “squares” may not be the ones that God celebrates. Jesus reminds us that our Father, “who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

It’s not that big things – I like to think that I married royalty, too – don’t matter. It’s that small things do, too. A spontaneous prayer. A kind word. A cup of cold water.

There’s no kindness done in the name of Jesus, no matter how small, that isn’t noticed by God. And ultimately squared away for his glory.

Father, we give you all our deeds, large and small, and trust that you will use them in your wisdom to make something beautiful. Let our lives add to your kingdom’s mosaic!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it!

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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