Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good Bones

Lately there seems to be an influx to reality television for all those do it yourself projects. Where it's watching someone upgrade their yard for more curb appeal or perhaps even fixing up those do it yourself projects that have gone wrong, there is something within us all, I believe, that want to fix things they see that need a bit of sprucing up.

Take the picture of the old house above. It appears as if no one lives there. The roof is apparently in need of a complete overall. There are holes where the elements can enter along with a host of other oddities of nature. The clapboard siding is in need of sand blasting and repainting if not replacement in some spots. The yard is overgrown and needs to have some of the bushes trimmed and the windows possibly need to be re-sealed as well if not replace some of the panes that are missing.

I ask you one simple question, if you were given the opportunity to fix this house up, and you had the resources to do it, would you?

Or would you, like most I believe, completely bull-doze the existing structure and attempt to rebuild something completely different?

I know I would love to restore this old beauty back to it's original grandeur! The possibilities are exciting in fact. Like people who take rusted old shells of classic cars and bring them back as if they rolled off the showroom floor if not in better condition than if they were brand new.

So why do people take the harder approach to bringing back something on the brink of destruction when it would be so much easier to wipe the slate clean and start all over again.

Because there is something there to the original design. I've heard people refer to these old fixer uppers as simply having 'good bones' in them.

Meaning that the original framework, layout of the home is usually in place and it's simply removing the weathered, damaged outer pieces and begin relaying new ones in their place. It brings back a sense of character. In fact, if this house were restored, I believe it would be worth far more, than if someone would simply rebuild a new one in it's place.

Sure it might have the benefits of more modern appliances, environmentally sound products and be more energy efficient but it would lack what made this house a home.

With years of neglect, this is what happens to a home. Left unattended and uncared for it falls into a state of disrepair. Left to go on too long, those "good bones" in fact may no longer even be worth the effort to strip away the old and begin to rebuild again.

Oh what memories this house could share if in fact its walls could speak.

Sure they may not all be great, but there are bound to be some priceless ones held in place by the sands of time. Birth of children, new found love, birthdays and even weddings may in fact have taken place in this old house. Yet, we are too quick to go with the easy replace. Forget fixing things when they break, let's just toss them aside and go for something more new and improved.

Do you think you understand where this conversation is going?

Do you often look at relationships you have in life the same way?

Isn't it easier to simply walk away from them rather than fix what's broken?

I mean you loved that house when you first bought it, yet over the years of simply being too busy, we neglected its care. We simply forgot to fix things as they broke, perhaps telling ourselves we'll fix it 'one of these days' and now those days have gotten the best of us.

Seeing things through new eyes, the eyes God can provide allows us to simply see what could be instead of what is. That person sitting next to you in church that doesn't quite fall into your circle of friends may be looking for just one reason to stay here in this place another day. In fact if one person makes an effort today, they will find value in themselves.

Too often I feel, that people see themselves as the house above. Beaten down, broken, and simply not worth the effort anymore. No one even notices them anymore even if they stand right in front of someone who can help. They simply have lost the will to ask for help because they believe after all the other failed attempts that this will not change anything.

Looking around our cities and towns, due to the downward turn in our economy, there are far too many vacant homes in our neighborhoods. Run down, neglected and simply allowed to stand vacant until someone cares enough to make a difference.

There are even far too many more people in this world that are much like these vacant homes. They may appear as the man in the supermarket shopping center offering to clean your windows of your car for whatever change you can offer. Or it may be the man, you see standing on the street corner every single day, asking for a job or some money to feed himself.

I know what you're thinking too. If I stop and give them money, they'll just use it to buy drugs or alcohol. But do we really know? I didn't realize that we have within us the ability to judge people based on what they look like instead of simply trusting the gift of help to God. Pray before you hand them money and ask God to put the funds to work in the way He thinks is possible.

It makes me wonder of all the opportunities that come to us in the forms of people seeking help, what if on the day we stand before God, He shows us that it was opportunities to help one of His angels sent to test us and see where our heart stood. What if they were Jesus in every single pair of eyes that look to us for help? What would we say then?

I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty, in fact, I am hoping to inspire a positive change in those of us that claim we are Christians. To make a difference in the lives of people all around us. To be the examples that Christ has asked us to be. We in fact may be the only Bible these people will ever know and see.

Stop walking by people every single day and not look up and say Hello or Good Morning and offer a smile. The person working the cash register at the grocery store could use a dose of something other than routine in their life. They could use a kind word from us. Let us stop neglecting those around us.

God has a unique purpose for all of us. Every single one. We all have within us the power to be used for His good and His glory or simply to look the other way and believe those tell-tale whispers in our ears that they are simply not worth the effort.

Like every great house, regardless of the condition, there is within it great bones and possibilities. Let's make sure we give them a chance before we tear them down with what we don't say and do!

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed." Psalm 34:18

"I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone. For He stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them." Psalm 109:30-31


KrippledWarrior said...

Excellently stated and a very good point on being a judge of others. I can't wait to clunk someone over the head with it.

Mari said...

I would love to fix up an old house. I think your analogy is great and a good lesson to all. (including me!)