DIY to Redemption

When I was a kid, I loved Saturday morning cartoons. My entire week was worthwhile just for a half-hour’s worth of Looney Tunes. “Duck Amuck” was a huge bonus if they showed it. Now, I’ve traded in my cartoons for house flipping shows. I don’t know why, but I love watching the process of taking something that’s been run down and making it livable again. I realize this is quite a leap, but I was also the kid that jumped from listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic to Pink Floyd in the same year.

Recently, I discovered a new house flipping show called “Rehab Addict.” What sets this show apart from others is that the flipper, a single mother (who plays that card a little too often, in my opinion), doesn’t just remodel the house. Every other flipper buys a house, guts it, trashes everything, and remodels it into something modern, chic, and sell-able. They’re more interested in making quick cash than anything else. “Rehab Addict,” on the other hand, buys old homes and restores them. She doesn’t just toss something because it’s old. She looks past the peeling paint and sees the original charm as it was intended. When she’s done, she’s wasted nothing, and the home is beautiful. Sure, it takes a long time, certainly longer than the three days or one week others promise, but in the end, it’s more than worth it.

After a Saturday of binge-watching this, I became reflective. Why do I like this show so much? What is it about this show that draws me to it? Why not just go back to watching “Flip or Flop?” I started thinking metaphorically. “Rehab Addict.” That’s a silly title. Sure, addicts go to rehab, but isn’t that to recover from their addiction? This woman is addicted to rehabbing old houses. She peels away layer after layer of abuse until she’s done.

Isn’t this what God did for us when he sent His son?

He saw the world full of sin. He saw his creation turning away from Him. Sure, He could have done what every other flipper does – gut the place and start over. But He had already done that, hadn’t He? Wasn’t that the point of the flood? He already promised that He wouldn’t do that again. And let’s be honest, that stuff never lasts. The cabinets are just flimsy particle board that fall apart after a couple years. The laminate flooring is just a step above linoleum, no matter how well they make it. No, He needed something drastic, something that would last.

Psalm 139 tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God knows us before we’re even born. He sees through all the paint and veneer, our sins, we are covered with over the years. He doesn’t want to throw us out. He doesn’t want to discard us. He knows we still have some use still left in us. He doesn’t want a quick fix; He wants to take the time to restore us to our former glory. He knows it’s not easy. He knows it’s a lot more work. But He looks at us and sees that we’re worth it.

I wish I could do that. I wish I could look at someone and look past their paint and veneer to see who they really are. Sometimes, I can. Most times, however, I’m ashamed to say I only see what’s on the surface. I need to keep reminding myself not be so dismissive. God didn’t dismiss me when He sent His son to die for my sins. He looked at me and saw someone worth saving. He looked at you and saw the same thing. He could have chopped me up and thrown me in a dumpster with the rest of the trash. Instead, He chipped, sanded, and peeled His way through until He found what He originally intended.

We were meant to be recycled, not thrown away.

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