DayBreaks for 2/15/18: Salvaged and Beautiful
From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:
There is a river that runs through the city of Guelph, located in British Columbia, Canada. As with many rivers that are near or pass through cities, over time refuse accumulates in the river. Every year in Cloverdale, CA, is a day when local citizens and service groups go out to the Russian River and pull debris from the river banks and river bed. The same happens in Guelph, but there’s a slight difference. Here in Cloverdale, the refuse that’s pulled out winds up in a recycling center or a landfill. In Guelph, I’m sure that some of the same thing happens, but they also put some of it to a very different usage: they invite sculptors in to gather up items pulled from the river and to form them into works of art that are then put on display. Some of the items recovered are appliances, automobiles, bicycles and motorcycles, bottles, bed springs and frames, barrels and miscellaneous other discarded items.
It is amazing what beauty can come from trash. Some of the art that is made is truly amazing and beautiful – and it’s all made from refuse.
What is it that lets these things that were one person’s trash become the beautiful artwork and treasure of another person? It’s the eyes of the artist that makes the difference. While someone sees that old refrigerator as something to be destroyed or gotten rid of, the artist sees it as the torso of a statue or a spaceship, and with tender and patient skill, the trash is transformed into something beautiful.
The analogy to the Christian life is clear: we had been discarded by our previous owner (Satan), thrown into the muck and mire by our sinfulness and futility. And then along came Jesus, trolling through the deepest, darkest recesses of this world until his eyes and hands found us. He lifted us up from the mud, cleaned us off, and then proceeds to make something “beautiful of my life.” It isn’t because we deserve it, or because we’ve even asked for it to start with. It’s because he sees in us, through his Divine eyes, what we can be made into and he delights in the changing of us according to his will.
I know many people who are discouraged, despairing, afraid to look in the mirror for fear of the horror that they see when they look into their own souls. Sadly, many of those people are believers who struggle to accept that God loves them and that He is already engaged in the process of turning them into a beautiful work of art fit to be found on the streets of heaven. Maybe you’re one of those people, or today is one of the days when you feel like a piece of trash. Just remember: God has salvaged you and is shaping you into a unique – and beautiful – work of His art that He will one day display in the halls of His very own home!
PRAYER: God, give us a glimpse of what you are doing with our broken lives and fill us with joy to be your reclamation projects that you are turning into your very own masterpieces! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.