18 May

photo 2Three hundred feet of tangled rope needed to be cut into 20-foot lengths. Finding the end was the first challenge. The second was getting more than a couple of feet before hitting a huge snarl.

More than two hands would have helped a great deal. But I haven’t grown extra appendages, and I was at church alone. De-tangling the confusion was slow going and tedious. Every strand wrapped and twisted around every other strand, and the harder I pulled, the tighter the mess became.

And then, suddenly, there was more free rope than knot, and it fell apart at my feet.

Cutting the 20-foot sections only took a few minutes, but then I had a new problem: if 300 feet made a mess, how could I get all 15 pieces in the van and home to finish my project?

With knots! photo 1-1

Ironically enough, knots prevented knots.

I gathered five lengths together at a time and tied a large and loose knot in the center. The three big knots made a kind of handle that I held onto from the church to my van. I tossed the ends in a heap and set the knots on top of the pile in the back seat. Actually, the pile didn’t look that different from the 300-foot mess I’d started with!

But it was very different. The knots held the strands together intentionally lined up in the same direction. With the introduction of just a little order, chaos became manageable. When I got home, I lifted the easily-identifiable knots from the pile and the pieces followed easily without tangling. Relieved (I hadn’t been sure this would work!) I gathered all 300 feet up and walked inside to finish my project.


This week I’ve watched Christian friends deal with excruciatingly difficult circumstances and events. Chaos didn’t win. These dear friends are united with other believers – knotted and knitted together in heart, mind, and soul – and strong in the mess of life.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. Ephesians 2:19-21

Organized around our head and cornerstone, Christ Jesus, we are the holy temple of God– not because of our merits or specialness, but due to the strong “Knot” we have at our center. When life tangles us up, He pulls us up and above it. Life may be messy, but the twists and snarls don’t have the same hold hold on us when we He is our center.



Tomorrow morning some will tear up, some may wail, while others will come with light hearts – all intent on worshiping Jesus. Christ brings meaning to our suffering and also walks through the pain with us. And wonderfully and beautifully, brothers and sisters wind their hearts around one another – not in a tangled mess of frustrating knots, but in a strong and glorious community with one purpose: to honor God and praise Him.



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