Before and After

Just recently I went with a cousin of mine to clean out his storage unit. There were things in there he had not seen in years. One of the items was a badly tarnished and dirty sculpture. Didn’t look like much and certainly didn’t look to have any value. Before throwing it out he asked if I wanted it. He said that it was valuable and was given to him be some wealthy person. My initial thought was that if were that valuable, one, they wouldn’t have given it to you and two, you would keep it. In spite of my misgivings I took it.

When I got it home and pulled it from the box, it looked worse than I thought. My wife and kids thought I was crazy to even accept it but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. After my wife went to work, I found some tarnish remover and began to apply it to the sculpture. After about 15 minutes of working on it, I began to think my family was right. After about 1 hour of working on it I knew they were wrong. I tried several different methods to clean it but the only one that worked was a lot of elbow grease. It took me the better part of 4 hours to clean it but when it was done, it was beautiful.

There are those around you who are urging you to give up, on your marriage, a family member or the vision God has given you. It takes more courage to stay in the fight then it does to begin it. Anybody can start but can you finish. Can you take what was given to you and make it beautiful. Can you take what someone else has given up on and apply hard work and persistence to, and turn it into something to behold? Can you take something that was worthy of disposal and make it worthy to display?

After working on that piece for an hour, I was motivated by the realization of what it was. In an abstract sense it was the head of a man and woman staring into each other’s eyes. This encouraged me more. Know I was able to see what it was meant to be. Sometimes all we need is a picture of what it is supposed to look like, to encourage us to finish. After spending several hours finishing it, I placed it on display in the living room. I wanted everyone to see it. I even took before and after pictures of it and sent it to my cousin with the caption “This is what you gave me, this is what I turned it into”.

What do you see in what God has given you? Whether that is your spouse, job, ministry, children or vision. It is easy to throw things away, but remember what you throw away may turn out to be a thing of beauty in the hands of one with vision. Furthermore, if you throw it away, be prepared to get that text message “This is what you gave me, and this is what I turned it into”. Now That’s a Word!

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