In the mist of my memory, I recall the day my dad brought a box of "new" toys home from work. Dad worked in the service department of the local Ford dealership and occasionally he would bring something unusual home. One day it was the autographed 45 (for you who have grown up in the digital world, that was a single play record that played at 45 rpm) by an up-and-coming country star. Sometimes it was some small item that came from a wrecked vehicle he towed. But, one day it was a box of toys. "New" toys.
I call them "new" because that's what they were…to us. Looking back, I'm sure that a connoisseur of toys would have called them "junk." But, to us, they were new. They were partly broken and nothing much to look at, but something in them sparked a creative fire in me and my siblings. We didn't get new toys that often and we were excited! For days we set a high value on those toys, figuring out ways we could use them to have fun we might not have had without them.
I'm thinking about those "new" toys today because I realize that they are a pretty good metaphor of the way God looks at the people whom people connoisseurs have assigned to the junk pile. Some of you will immediately get a little defensive when I say this because you have heard that "God don't make no junk!" In and of itself that statement is true, but our "junk pile" status is always because of the mess we made, not something that God did. We end up broken and stinky, feeling pretty hopeless and trying to find some way to piece ourselves back together again. In the meantime, the God who created us DEEPLY VALUES US EVEN IN OUR BROKEN CONDITION! In fact, I'm convinced that our broken condition is the first step to discover just how much He really values us.
And we aren't just momentary playthings to Him. HIS purpose has always been to help us discover OUR purpose and to find a life worth far more than we could have imagined without Him. Our broken condition is the conduit to get us ready for what He alone can do.
Stone Ridge is a church of broken people for broken people. We consider our part in God's plan to pour our His love upon the brokenness of our culture to be one of the greats privileges of our lives. I can't wait to talk with you about it this weekend! If you can't be with us, catch the podcast here.