4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,[a]
Isaiah 61 and Psalm 68 are foundational and undergirding scriptures that have built, shaped and marked House of His Creation. As we have expanded into a new state and are working to open a home for teen girls; it is not lost on us that the physical process we are going through to ready the property is the same process we live out with the girls and women we serve.
This property is a diamond in the rough and we see so much potential. It very much is a picture of why we are here and what we are called to do. This property has evidence of being well loved and cared for, however, the restoration that was started on the house was not completed and could not hide the evidence of neglect, misuse and devastation. There is glass and debris scattered through the yard. The house restoration was done with little care to continuity or long term use and more to flipping the property for a sale or as the realtor said "lipstick on a pig". Fire ant hills dot the lawn and the stream is untended. The remnants of a bridge are tucked under a makeshift new build held up on one end by a car jack. The shed has good pieces of lumber but needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
This is contrasted by a crepe myrtle that was cut down re-blooming, an island of palms and other flowering plants visible from the back porch, birds and hummingbirds instantly came to feeders and fun little frogs and lizards run around in the yard. The color of the house adds a light and joyful air to the house pointing again to days when it was loved and cared for.
So it is with the women and girls we have seen over the years. They come to us trying to cover the hurt and devastation in their lives yet the makeover they come with cannot hide the brokenness in their hearts, the hurt in their souls and the wounds on their flesh. As we get to know them we also get to see glimpses of joys they have known, the one person (if not more) in their lives who tended to them. We see evidence of the beautiful creation of each individual and we set the stage for them to be restored.
The house and yard will be transformed over time, by many hands, through planning, skill and perseverance. The house will be finished and new, beautiful spaces that have not existed before will come into being prepared to be places of healing and hope. The ancient ruins will be restored and the life that was stolen and hidden away will have opportunity to grow in the soil of the love of Christ.
We are grateful for this front line view of these intricate processes. Seeing graves turned into gardens, seeing dead places made alive, seeing the kingdom of light push back the darkness...
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV