|Photo Credit: Flickr user Neil Moralee, Creative Commons cc license|
|Photo Credit: Flickr user Adelie F. Annabel, Creative Commons cc license|
He had said it to me and you this weekend in a wooden chapel filled with four hundred squirelly middle schoolers and their coffee-toting leaders. Flashing photos on the screen of his little seventh grader self, and displaying an email from his seventh grade teacher who had found him just recently, youth speaker Cesar Castillejos spoke to you and me as he spoke to my teens too.
"Oftentimes we see the puzzle pieces of our lives, and we just want God to show us the cover," he said.
"I was praying for you," his seventh grade teacher told him in that recent email, and Cesar looks back with new eyes at his middle school and high school years.
God sees your puzzle pieces, my friend. He is shaping and molding all the circumstances and experiences in your life -- even the hard ones. He is crafting, cutting, and creating your passions, heart cry, and skills. Weaving in invisible people who pray for you and invest in you, God is at work.
"Now, I get to speak to and teach teens, and preach at a church on Sunday nights, and do some writing too," Cesar said, smiling wide, and his heart for teens to hear the truth that they're valued and loved by the Creator of the world has been obvious in each chapel session all weekend.
God clicked Cesar's puzzle pieces into place throughout his life, creating beauty and purpose, and he is clicking your pieces into order too.
|Photo Credit: Flickr user Clint McMahon, Creative Commons cc license|
Through double-wide open doors, warm October seventies air flows in, unscreened. Two coffee house employees grin and waddle past, hefting a large barrel container of flowers between them. Setting it on the sidewalk, they mark the boundary of their sidewalk terrace, while the cement mixer churns half a block away.
Spyhouse's street signage is not back up yet on the bare-faced stone building where mortar waits to be chinked, but progress is being made. Bare brown bricks stand two-stories tall with gaps for next week's mortar, and beauty remains.
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