Beauty from ashes.

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I watched as it burned, horror stricken, and my heart ached. Something so beautiful destroyed in one night. I watched as people crowded the Paris streets in silence to bear witness. It had stood strong and proud through two World Wars, a symbol of hope and beauty in the midst of darkness.

I stood in the rubble and the dust, turned in a full circle in the middle of Port au Prince, those few walls that still stood forever marked by deep cracks. Years of poverty, corruption and now natural disaster. The waters still washed over the beach nearby, the sun still shone, bathing it’s warm light, comforting the broken.

I walked over the open sewer running down the middle of the road and on top of garbage in a layer so thick it had become the ground. Kibera’s children; their naked eyes looking at me were hungry, weary, and blank. The little wall rose above the tin roofs, unassuming, inside joy rose in worship of a God who still stands, who doesn’t burn, and cannot be destroyed.

Beauty is real. When a thing of beauty is destroyed or damaged, or attacked we should mourn. It is right to feel the pain of loss. It is right to rise up in righteous anger and plead for change. It is good to rebuild, to fight against the destroyer.

For we do have an enemy, a destroyer, a thief who seeks to kill. Make no mistake. The odds are beyond scary. On that fateful Good Friday, the enemy thought for sure he’d won. There on that cross was the broken, beaten, bleeding Son of God. Dying. The clouds darkened, the earth trembled and shook. The whole earth knew something terrible was happening.

And yet… The story doesn’t end there for we have a God who is a master planner, a re-builder, a fighter, a justice seeker, who knows the odds and laughs, because He has a secret. Jesus was there when the world was created. Death could not hold him. The bringer of Truth and Life conquered death and changed everything.

Up from the grave He Arose, a mighty triumph Over his foes! For our Savior Lives! And our lives are now secure in Christ. Every time we rebuild, we seek justice, we speak on the behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, we are joining God. Let’s be careful that we don’t tear one another down (destroy) and unwittingly help the enemy.

John 10:10 ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’

James 3:16 -18 ‘For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.’

 

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