Photo by DeGust, Flickr Creative Commons
Every day, driving around this city, I see beautiful young children just like these gorgeous girls - diving and disappearing into the infrequent large metal dumpsters... or scrounging about trash piles strewn across the rutted, sandy roads... or picking and poking through refuse thrown behind shack-slash-boutiques... They are almost frantically searching for something - anything, really - that might somehow be redeemed.
They bury their hands into messes that assault my nose and turn my stomach.
Somehow, they come up with previously unremarkable, destroyed or discarded treasures that given another opportunity and shown some patience and work will become valuable and worthwhile.
Each day I see Jesus in these kids.
Two thousand years ago, once and for all.
And still today... Every day...
... because He dives into the horrendous, atrociously odiferous mess of this world... He scrounges about in the trashiness of every culture and life... He picks, prods and pokes through the icky stuff shoved way back and out of sight...
He uncovers the discarded and gives them dignity; the washed up in His tender, patient hands become full of worth.
He redeems, renews and restores all that I feared, all I never dreamed could really be.
I'm so thankful and I'm learning to pray: "May others see this same Jesus-spirit in me."
What is one of your prayers for 2013?
What is something you see every day that convicts you and encourages you to be more like Jesus?
(*1) Photo is titled "Les porteuses d'eau - Young water carriers" and was taken in December, 2009, in Niger by DeGust.
(*2) I recently posted this same entry on our personal blog. It has been slightly reworked, but sorry for the repeat if you've already seen it. School starts up again tomorrow and it has been crazy busy.