Jobs for Life – Beautiful
Yesterday, I heard and saw something that was beautiful. It wasn’t music, poetry, paintings or something in nature like a sun rise. In fact, up until a few years ago I wouldn’t have even described it as beautiful. Instead, I would have labeled what I experienced as encouraging, neat, or successful.
So, why now do I describe something as beautiful? Actually, my understanding of beauty began with the tornado of 2011. It was during this time that I got to meet local artists in Birmingham, who were using their talents to raise funds for the restoration and rebuilding of communities. They come together and planned an event which depicted the tragic event from the calm before the storm to complete restoration of communities. It was remarkable to see artists use paints, wood, scrap metal, cloth, and even some junk to visually show the destruction and hopeful restoration of communities. And, some of these artists who were brothers and sisters in Christ took the time to help me understand the connection of creating and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to restore and renew a broken, fallen world and the brokenness in individual lives. And, by His Grace when broken lives are being mended and reconciled to God and one another it is amazing. My Christian artist friends seek to reflect God’s love by bringing out beauty. So, now I’m starting to slowly get the connection to the arts and the Gospel through creating and making things new.
Back to yesterday and our 2013 fall Jobs for Life class. As some of you know Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church and Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church are co-laboring in conducting the class. Two diverse churches, in terms of culture and denomination, with a common understanding of Christ’s saving Grace uniting to serve. Now that in itself is pretty neat, seeing relationships between our respective members begin to form.
During a breakout session, students of the class were discussing with their mentors a particular portion of the taught subject. I was sitting in the back of the class talking with two friends, when very quickly I became aware of a lot of conversations taking place between individuals that just two months ago didn’t know one another. Then to realize that these relationships forming were between individuals that our society would say are so different; people living on other sides of the mountain, rich-poor, black -white, young-old, homeless-housed, etc. But, the one common denominator of everyone in that room was the desire to be there and willingness to create new relationships.
Yesterday, God was very gracious to me and allowed me to observe the beauty of Him using Jobs for Life to renew, restore and create relationships. And, even I could see how beautiful His work is! A Master Piece!