Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

Gunger “Beautiful Things”

The lyrics of this song have been a bit of a chant in my head the last few days.

As many of you may have heard from Twitter, my sister lost everything in an apartment fire Friday afternoon.  Fortunately she wasn’t there when the fire started… in fact we were over at her new home cleaning and preparing for her to move in on Saturday morning.  Some things just don’t make sense.

Sadly, she lost her little buddy… Sammy Mac… whom I affectionately referred to as The Great Sam I Am, Sammy Sam or Devil Dog depending on the day and what mischief he had been up to :).

But God does make beautiful things.

He has made beautiful things out of the family and friends who have loved and supported her.

He makes beautiful things with the peace that passes all understanding.

He makes beautiful things with the strength he has provided for each day.

He makes beautiful things.  He does.  We don’t even know the beautiful things yet to come.

He makes beautiful things out of us.

If you have a moment, could you leave an encouraging word, prayer, or promise from scripture in the comments for my sister Jessica?   I know it would mean the world to her!

Rest in peace Sammy Mac.  We love you and miss you!


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  • Jen C June 6, 2011  

    Jessica, I’m so sorry!  I can’t imagine how difficult that must be to lose everything, but pets are especially special.  I am so glad to hear you were preparing a new home and have a place to live.  For some reason, that only God knows you have been given a bit of a fresh start.  I pray that God will lift your disappointment, frustration, grief  and sadness, into peace and comfort and renewal that your soul will know comes only from Him.  Let God speak to you through the kindness of others and unexpected opportunities.

    Father, please be close to Jessica. Show her Your presence in the tangible and intangible. Thank you for surrounding her with friends and new friends and family. May they also bring You into Jessica’s life.  Amen.

  • Wendy June 6, 2011  

    Jessica…so sorry for you loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers this morning. Remember that the sun always shines brightest just after a storm. I know that sounds so cliche, but it really is true. We learned this after going through several hurricanes a few years back when we lived in Florida. We lost our home when Hurrican Wilma (hurrcane #4 that season) hit us directly. Through that experience God’s love and grace shined so brightly and He has led us on an incredible journey since then. I pray that you will continue to feel His love and comfort during this time.

  • Caryn Rivadeneira June 6, 2011  

    Oh, Jessica! How devastating! I’m so sorry to hear this. As a dog lover, I ache for and with you. I lost my own beloved (yet evil) border collie quiet suddenly 7 years ago, and I still grieve him…. 

    During the weeks following his death, I clung to Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit. I also clung pretty tight to Matthew 10:29: Not one of [the sparrow] will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.God was with sweet Sammy Mac, Jessica. And I believe Sammy Mac is with God now. Praying for you in this time of grief.

  • Lindsey Nobles June 6, 2011  

    Love you guys! Ready to get home so I can help Jess get settled into her new place.

  • Jason Wert June 6, 2011  

    Oh man.  The picture of the dog is making me cry.  🙁

    I’m sorry for your sister.  I lost almost everything in an apartment fire back in 2005 and most people don’t realize how it just leaves you feeling violated and shaken.  I’ll definitely be praying for her.

    • jessica June 23, 2011  

      Jason, your the only person that has gotten close in words to how I feel! Thank you so much!

    • jessica June 23, 2011  

      Jason, your the only person that has gotten close in words to how I feel! Thank you so much!

  • Laura S. June 6, 2011  

    Jenni, I had no idea! My heart aches for her, especially for the loss of her precious dog.  I can’t imagine the shock she is feeling right now.  Praying for peace for her and for you…”For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…”  

    Wish we could be there to help in some way.  Let me know if we can send something to her.  Laura Smouse

  • Heidi Menges June 6, 2011  

    I have just been sick over the news and thankfully had contact with Jess. I am sending you a little something I know it doesn’t mean a lot with all you have dealt with and I am so sorry about Sammy Mac it just makes me cry. I love you and as family we will rise up and help you carry your burden, cry with you ( a lot) Greg keeps looking at me weird and love on you even if from far away.


  • Faye Bryant June 6, 2011  

    Jessica and Jenni, I pray that in this midst of the not-knowing and the not-understanding that you see Christ. That more than you see His hands helping and providing, you sense His presence. 

    God says we don’t understand His thoughts, they’re so much higher than ours. That’s okay, but sometimes, I wish He’d give us a clue! Habakkuk 3:19 in the Amplified Bible says: “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”

  • Alex McLean June 6, 2011  

    Wow, sorry to hear about that. Sounds like she’s blessed to have you and now this community helping her thru this and sharing the love & peace that only a community of Christ-followers can do…

  • Candace June 6, 2011  

    Jessica I’m so sorry about ur loss: all ur things..memories..and most precious, Sammy Mac.

    When we lost our Golden Retriever Faith, I had to avert eyes even when catching a glimpse of a Golden; it wd take me back so quickly.

    Jesus is so comforting and I found myself talking to him often. Take care.

  • Diane Moody June 6, 2011  

    Ever since I heard the news of your loss on Friday, I’ve been thinking of you – even though we’ve never met! I just can’t imagine . . . yet I’m so thankful you’re surrounded by so much love and support. I’m a dog lover too, so it broke my heart to hear your sweetie didn’t make it. It’s a unique pain only dog lovers can ever truly understand. I’m praying for you, Jessica. Jenni, please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help, okay?

  • Blake Bergstrom June 6, 2011  

    Wow…those words could not be more timely.  They were also going through my mind the entire time I was in Joplin as well.  I can’t imagine how Jess is processing this, but please let her know that I’d be honored to spend some time with her during all this mess.  I am praying for your family right now.  Ally and I would love to do something…so please let me know how we could help?? 



  • gitzengirl June 6, 2011  

    I saw Pete tweet about a fire but didn’t know who it was. I am so sorry. I know what it is to truly love a dog with your whole heart… I’m praying for all of you. What is Jess needing? What can we do or send to help? Know I’m offering prayers and would be happy to help if I can.

  • Sarah Atkinson June 6, 2011  

    Oh, Jessica, my heart hurts for you and Sammy Mac. I don’t know if it helps, but the words I hang on to are from British writer Adrian Plass: “Nothing is wasted.” Your loss won’t have been for nothing. Praying for you.

  • Alece June 6, 2011  

    oh jess! I’m so sorry about Sammy Mac! I can’t wait to get into town so I can hug you and help in whatever ways you need. love you.

  • Kevin June 6, 2011  

    So sorry about you loss Jess. Praying for you today! Choose to Trust even when you don’t understand. I know He can and will carry you through this. Hang in there!

  • Angie June 6, 2011  

    So sorry for your loss Jess.  You have been in our thoughts and prayers!

  • Rissa Lovvorn June 7, 2011  

    Jenni.. wow.. what a powerful song.. wish I had heard that when i lost James…  Jess.. please know that my heart breaks for you.. I honestly cant say i understand how you feel because i’ve never been were you are.. but i do know the pain of losing someone close to you… but please know you are so LOVED.. and GOD is holding you… he has amazing plans ahead of you… Know that  WE (Crosspoint) LOVE & CARE for you & are here if you need anything…

    Praying for you.. and if you need anything please dont hesitate to let me know!!

  • Rindy Walton June 7, 2011  

    So sorry to hear about the fire & loss of your friend & family member Sammy Mac. The song’s words are so true–God really does bring beautiful things, even though we can’t see them at this time. How do I know? ‘Cause I’ve been in those situations that drag us down, yet He is there & brings us out of it all…beautifully.

    And on a side note–Gungor is playing here Saturday night and…my friend & our worship leader is opening for him! 

  • trishadavis23 June 8, 2011  

    Seriously makes my heart hurt to look at Sammy Mac’s picture. Thankful for a community that loves each other well through crisis! JESS… the Davis’ love you and have been praying for you daily!!!

  • Anonymous June 8, 2011  

    You have all been so sweet.  Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

  • Heidi June 8, 2011  

    I am far away… but I offer my prayers and praise God for the new beginnings from the ashes. I too bawled when I saw Sammy mac.    If I can do anything let me know