By Stuart Swartzentruber
My Mom likes old things. She had antiques around our house when I was growing up and still has many around today. One item in particular that I remember from my youth is an old black iron. My Mom used it for a door stop, and I remember stubbing my toes on it many times with my bare feet.
That iron was created long ago to be used to take wrinkles out of clothes. It was designed and built with that purpose specifically in mind. It can also make an amazing door stop or a book end, but the purpose and potential it was designed for is missed when it is used in that way.
As humans, we were created to be image bearers of God in this world. We were created to love God and love others. Because of sin, rebellion, and the brokenness in our world, many times we live our lives not experiencing what God envisions.
It is tempting to use power when it is available and wield it for “good.” Violence or coercion may be “effective” in attaining a goal. Money speaks and moves mountains. I can win an argument for “truth” but in the process degrade a person’s dignity. It is possible to use the wonderful bodies God gave us for selfish pleasure, or to work hard to accomplish many impressive things. We can spend our lives in this way and it “works” but we may be living far below what God designed us for.
God calls us to join him in his purpose for the world and to model what God intended from the beginning. It is a call to serve the poor and disadvantaged, to love our brothers, sisters, neighbors, and enemies, and to be peacemakers and bridge-builders in a world that is divided and broken. We were created and designed to follow Jesus in surrender and trust as He builds His kingdom. As churches, God intends for us to humbly clothe ourselves with God’s character and become communities of light and hope in this world.
Diamonds work well for slingshot stones. A new tire can make an amazing swing when tied to a rope in a tree. But using these items in these ways shows disdain for their designed purpose.
I am so grateful for the many people in my life who live out God’s purposes for them. It is attractive and draws me closer to their Creator and Designer. I am encouraged by the community of LHNM: staff, board, and supporters, who model God’s purposes for his people.