When I see only ketchup stains, God sees...


Bah!!! There's ketchup stains on my white linen drapes. There's a three-month layer of dust in my bedroom.

I've been in survival mode for the past year or so. I didn't realize it until today, but there's a hidden grace in survival mode. It's a type of blindness.

Example: I don't have any extra energy to expend on the bag that's been cluttering the floor since spring break, the one I never unpacked. So, I haven't "seen" it.

I haven't "seen" the piles of piles of paper on my counter, bookshelf, kitchen table, even stuffed under the china hutch. I haven't "seen" seven years worth of girls clothing that swallows up the storage space and their closets. Where's the 2T? All I need is the 2T. And I haven't seen it.

Today, around 3pm, my blood sugar dropped, my time ran out, and I felt smothered. Suddenly, the blinders fell off.

Now I see it ALL.

And my poor husband heard about it all.

All my frustrations. How I would like time. Alone. In my house. By myself. Without hitting, bickering or requests for food. Just for a while. I would like time to write. Time to pray. A shower would be so nice. I'd like to find size 2T. I hope to change the flannel sheets on our bed. It is JUNE afterall! : )

He wisely told me to go lay down, and I did. (In the dirty flannel next to the dusty bag from spring break.)

For most of us, our literal mess is a good barometer (or even symbol) of our internal mess.

There's always so much more to the story. The ache in me is bigger than a messy house, some elusive clothes, and ketchup stains.

Dare I ask God what's at the root of how I'm feeling right now?

I laid in bed, face in pillow. All I could muster was a simple prayer that sounded something poetic like this:

"God! All I see are ketchup stains!!!"

sad ketchup

And in the powerful way that only the Holy Spirit can do, with one image He told me a thousand words.

I saw a close-up image of a ketchup stain, and then God zoomed out...

and He showed me a Jackson Pollock.


I love Pollock's work! I love the mystery and the math. The surprising beauty and the abandon.

When I see only ketchup stains, God sees a masterpiece!

With my head buried in that flannel pillow, it seemed like a big leap to go from ketchup to Pollock. But I'm going to just have to have faith in what He sees.

Even when I can't see it.

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1

My good husband called off our date tonight and took the kids and left me alone. All I hear right now is the buzz of this computer. And I am smiling. I'm thinking of you in your mess as I am in mine.

I'm also overlooking the piles on the table as I watch a bird clean his wing. And I remember El Roi, The God Who Sees Me.


This week, be brave and journal about the mess you find yourself in. Write it all out to the Lord. Everything that worries you, stresses you, makes you nervous, makes you want to look the other way.

"Cast all your anxiety on the Lord, for He cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7

And then, ask God to make it beautiful. Ask Him to show you what is beautiful. And ask Him for the faith you need to trust what He sees, what He shows you.

If you feel led to share about that time journaling this week, please do so below!


You are not alone. The God Who Sees You is near, at hand, within your reach. And He's not afraid of the mess you are in.