Sunday, May 20, 2012

Do you need a new paint job?

 I had the little red wagon out last week to help me with some gardening. It sure looks like it has seen better days.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4 New International Version

One Sunday morning in the fall of 2003, I heard our town’s fire whistle blare while I was sitting in church. I said a prayer, as I always do when I hear sirens or see emergency vehicles with lights flashing, for the people involved. After church, I taught my Sunday school class and then went home without any further thought of the fire alarm.

When I pulled in the yard, my son Nick met me at the car. I was oblivious, as usual, when I got out of the car, and said, “what?” to him. He took my face in his hands and turned my head in the other direction. There, behind our garage, was what was left of an old storage shed that had been on our property since way before we bought it. The previous owner had left behind lots of junk in that shed. Over the years we had cleaned most of it out, replacing it with our own junk.

And now, whoever’s junk it was had been burned up in a fire. Luckily Nick had been home and seen the flames. He threw one bucket of water on the shed, I think, before he realized it was a hopeless cause and that he needed to call for help.

Most of the contents of the shed were destroyed or not salvageable. The little red wagon, though it still has some issues, doesn’t look too bad with a new coat of paint. I fill it with my gardening things as I plant my plants around the yard. The push lawnmower however did not fair so well. It still works, but no one ever got around to giving it a paint job. And the handles which melted in the heat of the fire? The duct tape we wrapped around them didn’t really do the trick.

 Like the red wagon and the lawn mower, we go through our share of disasters too. Lucky for us, whether we are the wagon or the mower, whether we come through our catastrophes requiring only a paint job or much more, God will be there for us. He doesn’t care what we look like on the outside, he sees who we are on the inside. 

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