I have lived in Charleston most of my life, which has given me the opportunity to visit our historic, downtown area more times than I can count. I remember driving down East Bay Street and seeing an old, broken down building, that was known as the “cigar factory”. The windows were all busted out, most of the brick was missing, and it looked like no one had paid much attention to it for years. Hunter, who is a visionary, would repeat himself every single time we drove by the building—“that has SO much potential! I can’t wait to see what someone turns that into.” I would always remind him that the building has looked that way for years, and I could only see it for what it was (I realize this is a flaw, I am working on it).
Fast forward many years later, that same broken down, busted up building, is a thriving office/event complex, with restaurants and shops, and people choose to go to it now. All it took was someone recognizing the potential, and doing something about it.
Some of the most beautiful art comes from the most broken of places. What if we decided to use our stories of brokenness or our seasons of hopelessness, and stopped discrediting those as a way to relate and heal someone else? What if we trust God with our healing process—let Him take the broken windows and the missing bricks and put the pieces back together so we can start to change the way we live out our example to other people?
I love the illustration Mike gave us at GENESIS about having a new thing and taking care of it until a scratch, dent, or imperfection means not caring about it anymore and giving up on it. However, in 2 Corinthians 4:16–17, it says “that is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” Let us be a generation who is constantly letting God breathe fresh life in us, heal our moments, and renew us—because ultimately, we are vessels of His light, our stories are for His glory, and always for our good.