Thursday, August 9, 2018

Littered but Lovely - Martin Wiles

Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground. Genesis 1:28 NLT

God sticks beauty in the ugliest of places.

Most of my morning walk is through a neighboring subdivision, kept clean by a landscaping company the residents pay to cut the grass and trim the shrubbery. They also blow away debris. Seeing litter here is unusual. When I do see a piece of trash, it looks out of place. But the last leg of my journey takes me behind a row of businesses that back up to our subdivision. While the front of the businesses is tidy, the backs are neglected. Paper litters the roadway and hangs in tree limbs and bushes.

I often wonder if the owners and managers of those businesses ever walk out back and look at the mess. Or why they don’t make their employees clean it up occasionally. I’ve thought about picking up the litter myself, but it’s such a mess that I’d never get through.

Yet as I walked one morning, I noticed beauty in the middle of the mess. Among the pines and oaks that separate the businesses from our subdivision, several mimosa trees bloomed. I marveled over how God can put something lovely among ugly things.

What God originally created and gave humans charge over was beautiful. No trash. No litter of any type. Not even the bodies of the humans were littered. Until sin came in. Like litter, it marred the beauty of God’s creation. Sin causes things to rust and break down. Sin leads humans to trash their world in more ways than by tossing litter on the ground. Sin leads to lust, crime, hate, anger, fear, and a thousand other forms of litter. Sin marred God’s image in humanity.

But all is not lost. Although sin marred, it didn’t destroy. God’s image still rises up for good—especially after we trust Christ as our Savior. It prompts us to do good things—to clean up the litter of our world, physically and spiritually. God’s image in me makes me want to enhance the earth I live on, not trash it. The image makes me want to show kindness, eliminate hate, pick up litter, heal hurts, and do anything possible to bring this world closer to the way it originally was.

Why not think of ways you can put beauty back in God’s world.


Prayer: Father, prompt us to season the world You’ve created with goodness and light. 


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