As many of you know, our Mission relies heavily on donations. One of those generous donors likes to visit local stores and markets to purchase all of their flowers on clearance in order to provide a little touch of home here at the Mission for our residents. Once they arrive, one of our employees, Wendy, a former florist, spends a little time and effort getting these "unwanted" and blemished flowers ready to be displayed around the Mission. With a little extra love and just the right amount of tender care, the flowers are quickly restored to their full beauty and glory. Our donor, like Wendy, is able to see past the brown wilted petals and see the beauty and worth of these flowers, especially when most others only see wilted, dying flowers that are of no use or value.
When I see those flowers, I am reminded of our residents and the mission behind our work here. Many people in our community see the "spots" and "blemishes" in the lives of our residents, and they throw them in the discount bin. Many do not see the value of their lives, including some of the residents themselves. It is easy to look on the outward and make judgments about others. However, God tells us that, "the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." I Samuel 16:7
I know for sure that there is value in every person's life. The Scripture clearly tells us in II Peter 3:9 that "God is not willing that any should perish." He alone has the power and the tender, loving care that can transform these hurt, and broken flowers into a beautiful blossom that has purpose and meaning. Giving these residents the Gospel of Christ, enables them to see the love of God, and the value of their lives. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14a. Through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, they become "a new creature" as II Corinthians 5:17 so clearly describes. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
It is our privilege and passion here at the Mission to be the hands of Jesus and live out the Second Great Commandment given by Christ in John 13:34 to "love one another." When we look at them through the eyes of Jesus, we see the beauty in each and every life that comes through our doors. Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.”
Author: Ruthie Tong, Findlay City Mission
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