You have an amazing ability to create garments of beauty out of the ashes of a person’s life. The prophet Isaiah wrote of how you would weave a garment of praise out of the ashes of a burnt out life (Isaiah 61:3) and you quoted him in the Nazareth synagogue when you were chosen to read.(Luke 4:17)
This was beautifully highlighted in the testimony of a man I heard last night. In his own words he was previously a hopeless case. Family, friends and community workers had written him off as beyond help, the burnt out wreck of an abused childhood and destructive choices. I have to confess Lord I was in tears as he spoke. He gave you the glory and the thanks for having men and women at Christian Drop-In centres who cared for him and who shared the good news of your love. It took time for him to realise how you were knitting a new life out of the ashes of his old one. One day he came to desperation point and cried out to you unreservedly to save him, change him and you did. When he said that with the tears of gratitude in his eyes and words, I felt like standing up and cheering!
The change in him was proven over time that appears to be part of your transforming, renewing work. Does it allow you to weave the grey and black ashes amongst the gold and rainbow colours of your grace and salvation?
It’s an unending delight to come across men and women who wear your unique designer garments made exclusively out of their own ashes when they handed their lives over to you. You are certainly not into mass production of clones whose stories are all the same.
I wonder, Lord, if my writing is suitable for you to use as a ‘knitting needle or thread’ to weave your word of Grace into a readers being? Would the broken hearted, the confused or the morally destitute, who see themselves as cinders from life’s furnace, realise there is hope because of Jesus Christ? You alone know where my writing will be found and how long before it ‘bites’ someone with your mercy. My desire is whenever, wherever, however, it will be used by your Holy Spirit to refashion someone’s life.
Raymond N Hawkins (Tasmania) is a retired Churches of Christ (Australia) minister. He is married to Mary, a multi-published author. They are parents to three children and ‘spoilers’ of 5 grandchildren. Ray still preaches at a newly formed Baptist Church and as other opportunities arise. He helps at their son and daughter-in-law’s sea horse and fresh-water fish farm. He and Mary have experienced three short-term mission trips to African countries as well as ministered in the U.K.