Out Of Ashes Can Come Beauty


Looking around at the damage from hurricane Irma as we drove down through the Florida Keys yesterday was pretty overwhelming. Then gutting our friends church and carrying out all of the ruined, wet and even moldy contents was a massive task. But there is much more than devastation present in the community of Marathon. There is hope.

Today as I was carrying things to the ridiculously large trash pile, I noticed a small sign leaning against the tree in front of the church. It said, "Surely the Lord is in this place." If you look through your natural eyes with all of the carnage so tangible, it can be hard to see how that could be possible. But there is something deeper happening.

No one in this community is focused on skin color, political persuasion or even religious affiliation. Today we had people from Fort Myers, Miami and New York all serving to bring the broken lighthouse that is Marathon Church of God back to life. And it was absolutely beautiful.

Some of our team dismantled a ruined stage while others handed out hot meals to neighbors and people serving around the community. Some people ripped walls apart while others continued unloading wheel barrels all day long.

While we were enjoying dinner together I looked up and noticed this tree in the neighbors yard. This tree can tell you some stories. It has watched this little community thrive and crumble on more than one occasion. As you can see a lot of the tree suffered damage because of Irma. 

But I bet if this tree could talk, it would not focus on the wind, rain or 6 foot surge that violently trampled through the homes, churches and businesses all around it. Like our dear friend that pastors the church that we are helping, I think the tree would recognize that its roots are still grounded and that there is still fruit on some of the branches.

Out of ashes can come beauty. From death and destruction can come new life. And from a ragtag group of a few committed people can come the opportunity to see Jesus shared and glorified in so many ways. Surely the Lord is in this place.

(Post from September 23rd, 2017)