What God is constantly teaching me through the story of my life is to pay attention to the small details; no, not to the minor happenings in relation to the major events, but to the small details. Because one of the things we think we know about God is that He is the creator of the universe which will, in turn, eventually trickle down to itty-bitty us.
By the time the droplets came down to me, I was another Chinese kid born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley with a textbook in one hand and a Gameboy Color playing Pokémon in the other (Yellow Version, to be exact.) My family approached our Buddhism as no more than a cultural stamp. I spent a lot of time and effort growing up on studying, trying to keep my shirts tucked in, and answering everyone’s questions about being a twin. My holistic concept of Christianity was based on DreamWorks’s 1998 movie “The Prince of Egypt” and wondering why the same supernatural being with power over all of existence would ever want anything to do with talking vegetables.
But here are the small details. Despite knowing where I came from, I hated who I was. My father did not ever tell me that, only what I had to do. It was my studies who told me how much I was worth, my shirts keeping all my feelings trapped and my glasses showing me what people had thought of me. At least those bullies told me what they thought of me. And I got so tired of the ridicule that I was convinced that the riddle could only be cured by just giving in. And in the same year I gave up trying to be too smart for friends, I realized that I was not smart enough for my dad when I got an “A-“ in sixth grade science instead of an “A” like my older twin brother. It was hard enough trying to be your own person without people constantly asking who the better of the two is, as if neither of us could truly exist until the other disappeared completely.
…as if neither of us could truly exist until the other disappeared completely.
Nothing I did was good enough for anyone. So I chose to be the most out-casted person I wanted to be so that no one could tell me otherwise, but still just normal enough to be accepted by some. Until my best friend told me I was living a lie during our second year of high school, that is. We argued into tireless nights for the next five months, that is, until I was saved by Jesus… and guinea pigs.
Because the small details were that my best friend wanted me to live in the truth of who God said I was even after I already decided otherwise for myself. And after 230 days of talking to him and my sophomore English teacher, I was tired of fighting and blurted to the teacher, “What’s with all these kid’s movies being so terrible aside from the one cute animal that everyone loves!? They should just make a movie where those cute animals are the main characters. Then everything would be great! Like secret agent guinea pigs riding in exercise balls or something.” My teacher lovingly answered by saying, “If you really want to know if God’s real, just pray with an open heart and wait for a response.”
Two weeks had passed since my prayer and I grew utterly tired of waiting. So I gave up and focused on watching Youtube at my friend’s house on a Wednesday night that April 15 of 2009. And that is where I saw it for the first time: the movie trailer to Disney’s “G-Force.” And right at that very moment, for the first time ever in my life, I heard a calm whisper speaking into an opening I never knew I had in my body that led straight into my very soul. It said, “Vernon, you are a child of God. You are my child, and I love you so much.” God found the small detail in me that I wanted to know for all those years: that I was a child, a child so ferociously loved by a father who no human or amount of time could destroy. He gave me an identity so pure and real that I freaked out next to my confused friend and called my mom for the first time in my teenage life to take me home before 7 p.m. from a friend’s house. I prayed that very night with all I had left in me for Jesus to be in my life, and the Spirit of the living God poured Himself into me, giving me all I ever wanted: the Father’s love.
Don’t look over any small details. We are not merely unimportant dots in God’s big universe. We are the small details He wanted to see in His finished masterpiece. Don’t look over any small details.
We are the small details He wanted to see in His finished masterpiece.