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Monday, June 25, 2007

Written on My Heart

The words scratched into the painted, metal surface of the stall door caught my eye. Some were profane, some crude, and others gently whispered, “I exist…”.

Like this one: Leah wuz here.

She had scratched her simple statement into the middle of a particularly gruesome display of skulls, which were in turn surrounded by profound testimonies of undying love… “Angie *hearts* Rob”.

We have a need, don't we, to make our mark? Something scratched into the surface of this world that does more than simply mar its pristine surface. Our legacy, left behind, for others to remember.

I do not pretend to know why Leah carved those words into the door. More than likely, they did not come from a deep place in her heart, a desire to leave her mark on the world. There will be time enough for that.

But…She was here.

Three little words for everyone – and no one – to see. A short, voiceless letter, neither weighty nor shallow, and yet it takes my breath away.

What is my mark?

Graceless moments leaving my mark are better off forgotten. How can I demand a character trait from my children when I, in that moment, show utter contempt for the trait itself with my conduct?

In opportunities for ministry, to really share God’s truth, I have remained silent.

A thoughtless expression, an unkind word, a raised voice... Elise was here!, my actions cry.

But as I traced Leah's jagged message on the bathroom door with my finger, He whispered to me...

...Beloved, you are my letter.

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
A letter from Christ. And what is His message? This is my Beloved. The mark she carries denotes her sin, but also grace and pardon. Oh, let me not forget that, far more important than the mark I leave behind, is the mark I already bear!

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Does my heart, as a letter, say "God is here"? In Jesus, through Him, because of Him, I exist. That is the mark I bear. If I carry it, the mark I make is sure to reflect it.

Father, may all of my actions be signed, “Love, God”. The world will be reading.

Feel free to visit my little place at A Path Made Straight

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Blogger Denise said...

What a beautiful post, bless you.

June 24, 2007 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...


This devotion was so beautifully written. Your bathroom imagery was so well done that I could imagine everything you were describing. Thank you for sharing your gifts this morning.


June 25, 2007 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger Beka said...

What a powerful and much-needed reminder that we must "walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called"!
Thank you, dear Elise.

June 25, 2007 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

What a beautiful post! I feel so blessed reading it!

June 25, 2007 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Great post, thank you.

June 25, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...


Brilliant! far more important than the mark I leave behind, is the mark I already bear!...

Amen, my Sister, Amen!!

June 25, 2007 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Exquisitely written. Thank you for a brand new perspective and thought-provoking images.

June 25, 2007 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Pearls of Wisdom said...

Great post! Thank you so much. I am very blessed every time I visit here.

In his endless love,

Angel ( Angel Mama ) ():)

June 25, 2007 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Amy Grant said...


eye-opening. Thank you.

June 26, 2007 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

As usual, a post from you made me stop and reflect. Thank you, Elise dear.

June 26, 2007 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Wow. You give me goosebumps every time I read your stuff. I feel the words "Jesus is here" marked on my soul. What an honor we have to bear that mark. Thanks for the awesome post!! You and Ann Voskamp both always bless my socks off as you are truly gifted writers.

June 28, 2007 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Patricia Warren said...

That was an amazing wake-up call! It is something I've been struggling to make sense of as I search myself for authentic faith. The kind of faith that leaves Jesus, not Patty, on the minds and hearts of those I encounter. Thank you for your wisdom!

June 28, 2007 at 10:34 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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