He Sees The Beauty In You… (I’ve shared this story with you before. Enjoy!)
Day 18 – January 20, 2021
My father is a very gifted builder. Without any formal training, he has managed to build everything from large houses and commercial buildings. He even learned how to do his own engineering and architecture, and more than once I would watch as he would take a set of blueprints to an architect and/or an engineer and get them to put their stamp of approval on them so that he could submit them to the appropriate jurisdiction.
One of his construction projects was to build an auditorium for the church in which he was the pastor. He got the men of the church together, and they built the walls of the church out of laminate beams and concrete blocks. Then his plan was to cover the blocks with brick on both the inside and outside of the building. However, when he went to buy the bricks, the price of bricks had skyrocketed, and they could no longer afford to purchase them. So my dad went to Plan B.
He found two century-old brick houses that were going to be torn down, and he went to the owners and convinced them to let him tear down the houses in return for giving him all the bricks out of the houses. Long story short, the church property was covered with piles of bricks from these old houses. All of the bricks were covered with old mortar and plaster.
Then my sister and I, eleven and twelve years old respectively, were given hatchets and were placed on top of the brick piles and told to chop off all of the old mortar. We did that for what seemed like many years. I had actually seen movies where men were placed on top of rock piles with sledge hammers, but they were wearing striped uniforms and had leg irons around their ankles…same kind of thing. Today this would be illegal.
What happened next, though, was a thing of art. My dad and some of his masonry friends laid the bricks on the building. He then washed the bricks with muriatic acid (my first encounter with a hallucinogenic drug) and then covered them with polyurethane. You cannot imagine the beauty of old, hand-made bricks, cleaned and covered with a luster that shows a hundred different clay-based colors.
Ok, Greg, what does this have to do with me?
Like old bricks, you and I are the substance of old houses…houses built by man. Our only fate is that of the demolition crew. But God sees something in us that we don’t see. Where we can only see dust and residue of the past, God sees something beautiful, something we could never imagine. So He tears us down, and begins to chop off the gunk. And then He cleans us up and builds us into something that we never believed we could be…a beautiful building. And when His light shines on us, the hues of His beauty shines through our clay-based existence.
The Apostle Paul talked about this. He said, “We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (CEV)
God wants to build something beautiful with your life. Perhaps it looks like He doesn’t have that much to work with. All you may see are old bricks…but God sees the beauty in you. And He will use that beauty to make an incredible difference in the lives of others.