Making broken things new again

Saturday, May 8, 2004

"You ought to see my apartment. It's gorgeous. I want you to see all the old broken things I've repaired and made into beautiful objects. They were busted and nobody else wanted them. Now they're usable again -- just like new."

I listened to a friend, James, as he related his story to me. And as he talked I pondered the possibilities and value of broken things being made into something new.

My friend was so adamant in persuading me to see what he had done with the old and broken effects that I eagerly visited his home. I was indeed astonished when he showed me the various items he had refurbished. Most were so painstakingly restored I failed to see their brokenness.

As I viewed the objects, thinking about the present beauty of the previously broken and ugly things James had restored, my thoughts turned to people and their brokenness. I researched Scripture to see what it advised concerning the brokenness of humanity. 2 Corinthians, 5:17 provided the answer for which I had been looking. "So whoever is in Christ is a new creation, the old things have passed away; behold new things have come."

I compared the beautiful objects that were transformed beyond recognition with God's ability to make all human beings new -- cured from physical and mental disabilities, and especially spiritual dryness. As I absorbed the truth of the statement "Whoever is in Christ is a new creation; behold new things have come," I felt elated and feathery light, like an injured bird flying again. I knew regardless of how far down into the muck I slid, if I believed in Christ I could always begin again. God could mend any despair and a new being could emerge. God's ability to make all things new pertained to everything in life if one believed in Christ.

If you genuinely believed and visualized new life through Christ, your life could be changed. You could reach heights beyond comprehension. When you constantly fear failure, broken relations and lack, you attract the fruits of your expectations.

Just as James repaired all the throw-a-ways that were dirty, disfigured and broken, Christ can mend personality defects, habits of failure and lack of confidence. He can replace the old habits with new behaviors, loving thoughts and expectations of success. Fresh air and possibilities emerge because one has become a new person in Christ.

God wants to grant the desires of our hearts, but our hearts must change and become new before those desires are rooted in the right soil. People must change on the inside before they can see successful results on the outside -- contrary to the world's opinion that it's the impression that one make on others that is most important for success.

Sometimes people refuse to crawl from their comfortable holes to allow God to do something new in their lives.

James' excitement toward making old and broken objects into new things of beauty and usefulness caused me to remember God repairs the most shattered people by creating new hearts -- and making them into new people.

Ellen Shuck is director of religious education at St. Mary's Cathedral parish in Cape Girardeau.

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