Monday, November 14, 2016

Beauty For Ashes

Everybody has something in life that they appreciate. Music, art, photography. For me, I like crooked sheds. Yes, I know, that's not particularly exciting, but neither am I. Up here in rural PA, everywhere you go you have the opportunity to find a new shed. Well, actually, it would be an old shed. They have faded and warped planks, and usually they are bowing outward in a last-ditch effort to stand upright. They probably held animals, or maybe the farmer's supplies. The roof might sag, and the door hangs off it's hinges, and generally there is some species of climbing plant winding it's way up the side.
Why, oh why, do I love these little buildings? Well, they're a work of art. There is beauty in the way they are broken, and every single one of them has a story that I will never know. Kind of like people. I bet you know someone who's "a little off", maybe listing to one side, with a gaping hole in their roof somewhere. They are generally people who you wouldn't give a second glance, or maybe you'd even walk by on the other side of the road. They don't look too appealing, and when they talk you might hear that broken hinge. You're missing out. You're missing an opportunity to see beauty in another form, and to hear a story before the story is gone. You see, God sees art where you see brokenness. God sees beauty where you see decay. He's not looking at their building, He's seeing that that is only temporary and will one day fall away. He is peering through the cracks and seeing their heart. The heart that needs love, the heart that needs Him. Be challenged to hear the story behind their broken hinges today, and to touch the heart that is hidden behind the splintered wood. Carry love somewhere love has never been before.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Psalm 139: 1-18                                                                                         You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand
    when I awake, I am still with you.