I found myself the other day thinking that possibly my friends that had not made it to adulthood had the better life. I am not suicidal or wish for death. Those of us left behind, we miss them; those who are now gone from my life are in the presence of God. All the heartache I have had in my life, they were able to miss by leaving this world so early in their lives. As I paused looking at the headstone of my parents, this thought came into my life.
The dash in my life is where God gets to be manifest.
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines manifest as:
1 : readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight
2 : easily understood or recognized by the mind : obvious
With the dash of my life, I have the opportunity to allow others to readily perceive God by their senses and especially by sense of sight. It should be just as obvious to those around me that I am God’s child as it is that my children belong to me. Other’s minds should recognize and easily understand that there is something that make me different, and should be drawn to the One who makes that difference in me.
I don’t get to sit at His feet just yet as those who have passed away do. However, I am able to live with His Presence in me and be His hands and feet to the world around me. I have the opportunity daily to let Him manifest though me. I admit I get it wrong, a lot. There are a lot of times that God is not manifest in me. Yet, His grace covers the dash of my life. And the times that I have paid attention to that manifestation have been some of the greatest blessings in my life. I believe there are more times though, that I don’t see what others can see. I say that just based on comments to me of other’s perceptions of me.
The dash doesn’t just represent His manifestation through me, but also to me. The dash represents the seeds that have been planted in my life. For over forty years I have had people who came along side me with teaching, training, encouragement, support and love. Sometimes for just a brief moment. Other times for decades. Yet each time, their dash joined mine. Together, in relationship God was manifest. Now every time those lessons or words of encouragement come to mind and strengthen me when I am weak, He is manifested.
When I pause to really think about that, I am overwhelmed with His presence and gratitude. Some of those people may never know how their lives touched mine, the impact their obedience to God made to me. I have been blessed several times in the recent past to share with some of those other life dashes just how they impacted my life. I am always amazed at the timing of God as our paths cross again, even if just briefly and that He allows me to speak back into their lives.
The dash also represents the seeds I have planted in the lives of others. The ones that have not yet manifested. The people I have been granted an opportunity to minister to through the years. The children, the parents, the coworkers, and friends that have pulled from the resources that are in my life. Or those who have unknowingly had seeds dropped into their life through me that one day will spring forth from their life.
The dash, it may never seem long enough. There are times where I wish I could just have one more day with friends, my parents, my grandparents and other family and friends that have died. Yet I am sure, in all their love for me they would not trade where they are for one more day with me on this earth. They are all now free from heartache and tears. Their dash has ended, but the seeds they planted remain. One thing that I have, that my friends did not have, is a longer dash. It may not be longer on the gravestone, but I have a longer time to live it out. It is up to me how much I allow Him to manifest.