A chattering, babbling creek.

Stagnant, marshy pools teeming with tadpoles.

Coarse sand. Weathered, smoothed stones.

Weeds. Wildflowers. Random bursts of color smattered against a canvas of multiple shades of green.

Tall, sprawling trees. Fallen trees, still dignified, noble, purposeful.

Leaves whistling and rustling in the wind. Twirling leaves, spiraling in descent to the earth. Buoyant and carefree leaves, drifting downstream.

Thick brush. Thin clouds. Mostly blue skies.

All this raw beauty…

And a car tire.

It’s the ugly, half-eaten apple abandoned in this hidden Eden.

Jesus died for discarded tires.

God, I confess to You that I am that tire. I step back to observe the beauty of the world around me yet I cannot overlook myself – worn, out of balance, tread wearing thin, nestled halfway into the sand, but unable to hide completely.

I’m a tire. And I’m tired. I am tired of trying to blend in with created beauty, hoping I can keep up the image masquerade.

All I can think to do is to take my tire-self – my “self” that has a gaping hole in the middle – and drape myself onto one of Jesus’ outstretched arms on the cross.

Thank You, Father. And now I fit in. I belong in the beauty. I am redeemed.

~ Journal entry from September 18, 2004