Leftovers or New Beginnings?
Author: Ruth Anne Burrell (Kansas, US)
A few years ago, my church bought a group of caterpillars and placed them in a large netted enclosure in the church. Each caterpillar formed its chrysalis and began emerging from its cocoon two weeks later.
One Sunday morning, I caught one glimpse of the net and gulped. ‘What has happened?’ I wondered. The new butterflies were fluttering around the enclosure, but red splotches that looked like blood stained the netting.
Later, I learned that the red substance was actually the leftovers from the butterflies’ emergence from the chrysalis. The butterflies were unfolding their beautiful wings, but I couldn’t see past their messy leftovers.
The early apostles behaved in a similar way. When Paul, their former persecutor, came to Jerusalem, they were too afraid to meet him. They couldn’t look beyond Paul’s dark past to see the passionate preacher God was moulding him to be.
God doesn’t care about what background we come from; he accepts everyone. Yet, too often, we reject new believers because of their past mistakes. God wants us to look beyond their messy-looking leftovers to the beautiful creations they are becoming through the touch of his loving hands.
Prayer: O God, help us learn to see others through your eyes. Teach us to see them for the wonderful people you are moulding them—and us—to be. Amen