Thursday, January 5, 2017
Empty buildings and broken people
I find myself wondering why the church closed. Did it slowly die because people stopped coming, or did the congregation build a better one and let that place alone to die where they worshiped for so long. What did that church see over the years.....people come to Christ, happy couples married, babies dedicated, people lining the altars as God moved....but now there is nothing there, no one to meet together and worship. It is just an empty, deserted, and forgotten building. It isn't really even a church anymore, for a church is where people go to worship.
And the houses....what happened there? Were the people unable to pay their taxes, and a bank foreclosed that doesn't really care about the house? What memories were made in that house? Any house sees happy and sad times, good and bad. And now so many of those houses that used to be homes, are rotting, eroding buildings that have become an eyesore.
Once in a while, someone buys one of those houses or churches, and makes them completely over. Sometimes there is no hope of restoration, and it is torn down and demolished so a new building can be built where the old one resided.
Deserted and empty buildings are sad, but empty people are worse. I see them also everywhere I go. You can tell by looking at them. They often look older than their years. Sin will do that. Alcohol, smoking, drugs, careless sex, and more all age the body and dull the eyes. If you look in people's eyes and listen to them talk......hidden under the vulgarity and careless talk is years of hurt. Broken people, souls that are black as night or ripped apart from all the person has been through and suffered - often because of their own choices.
Buildings can be beyond repair and restoration, but no person is beyond repair and restoration by the loving God who created them. The body may never be restored, and sin may cause suffering for their rest of their life, or even shorten their life........ yet God can do so much more with the soul and mind than any construction company can ever do with a house. God never looks at a person and sees them as beyond hope, incapable of being restored by His loving hands.
It is so easy to look at people and think there's no hope. I have seen countless people come through the Emergency Room addicted to drugs, coming back for the umpteenth time. I've seen families weeping because their loved one took too much of a drug one time too many. I've seen the people checking in hoping to score some drugs from the hospital to help them with their habit. I have helped people check in to be seen for things that are caused by their own sinful habits and lives. And yes, I have been tempted several times to think there's no hope of change for that person. They'll never amount to anything, that drug that they are so addicted to will some day cut their life short.
Yet any of these and others like them can be saved by God and totally transformed and changed. We don't serve a God who shies away from people addicted to drugs, sex, who have AIDS or other diseases brought on by their sin.
These people caught in addictions and sinful lifestyles who seem to have no hope of change, or any desire for it......if they take one step towards God, He will come running to save their souls......just as He has done for so many down through the centuries.