Behind our house there is a new development going in on what for years was farm property inhabited only by wild life.
In among the brush and stumps lies an old abandoned heap of twisted metal waiting to be hauled away.
The photo shows the old remains still hinting of what was once a shiny new farm truck that brought ooohs and ahhhhs as the twinkling- eyed new owner showed it off to family and friends, proudly offering free rides.
There are no ohhhs and ahhhs over it now - only a sad remembering of what it once was. All you see now is rusted truck parts waiting for a garbage dump somewhere with other worthless trash.
As I stood gazing at this old truck shell ... feeling the sorrow of seeing something once beautiful now discarded -something that once had great value, now considered of no value at all - it brought something else to mind.
I thought of how this truck pictures some people.
Every human being begins life 'new' and full of promise and potential ... but sometimes life takes bitter or difficult turns, wrong choices build-up in twisted heaps until the human being loses his/her perceived value in the eyes of others, or even their own, and is discarded to the garbage dumps of society, not unlike this old truck.
In Edith Schaeffer's book .. "The Tapestry" ...one of her quotes stuck in my mind , one I have never forgotten. She said that no matter how far a human being might fall, how vile he might become , how much we might recoil at sight of him, there is still somewhere within that human being a remnant of the 'image of God' in which he had been created. And that gives him value!
That quote stuck with me and changed how I looked at people. Even when outwardly we may see only the worthless remains of a wasted life, we must still recognize that the person is someone 'created in the image of God' and therefore, unlike the truck, still has worth in the eyes of God.
It is obviously too late for the farm vehicle ... but how graciously our God says that it is never too late for any human being as long as he is still in this earthly life!
God can take the vilest human being and restore them to the beauty He intended when He gave them the breath of life.
Will the skill that no human restorer of old things can duplicate, God can take that seed of 'God's Image' buried deep in a soul ... and bring it to life, causing it to grow and transform the one who has placed his 'ruined' life in God's hands.
"So You will restore me and make me live."
"For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,' says the LORD, 'Because they called you an outcast ..."
"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten...you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you "
"WHOSOEVER (that's YOU) believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."