Beauty from Ashes: Damaged Goods
On a recent vision trip to the Dominican Republic, we met a number of women who are providing for their families through businesses they started from a micro-finance loan. As we listened to their stories, we were reminded once again that we are no different. As women and mothers, we desire to create a safe and loving home for our families. We want our children to have enough to eat, to get a good education, and to learn to love and trust in the Lord. We are the same, but our circumstances in life differ greatly. To see these women work so hard, and do so much with an average loan of $300 is humbling… and hopeful.
One moment from the trip will stay with me forever. Driving back through the slums of Santo Domingo after meeting Reyna, I was struck by another way that we are all the same. Reyna sells damaged goods. She rescues an imperfect toy or lamp from the junk pile, and sells it to someone who still finds use and value in it. Isn’t this the picture of us all? We are all “damaged goods” and our redeemer God is always in the process of reminding us that as imperfect as we are, we still have value. He loves us just as we are, and He has use for us in His kingdom. It is the “big story” of creation, fall, and redemption that is ongoing. And to understand that our value lies in the fact that we are His beloved, that our value lies nowhere else, is one of life’s greatest lessons. We are not perfect. All of us are “damaged” and all of us are in need of a Savior. We are in need of our Father’s unconditional love. What an incredible reminder we received through the vibrant smiles of Reyna as she shared the story of her small business, selling damaged goods to provide for her family.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come…”
At times in our lives we may feel like we are too damaged to be of any value to God, but He makes us a new creation, and He has a job for us to do.
“…We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.”
We meet damaged people every day, and have the opportunity to share the hope that is within us. They too are God’s beloved; they too can be made whole by His love. And we are His ambassadors. May today be the day when we fall into His arms, receive His love and healing, believe the truth that we are His beloved. And may that truth spill out into the world around us.
by Karen Johnson, WOV Bellevue, WA
(Scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17, 20)