Cusco, Peru, a small Andean town of some sixty thousand inhabitants, was for me, the son of missionary parents, just home. A city with only one respectable hotel and no fine restaurants, Cusco in the late 1940s wasn’t anything like the tourist mecca it has become today. What stands out, however, and the thought behind this article, is the outstanding piece of clothing quite common among the natives, the poncho. The truly native-woven ponchos smelled of smoke, hand-woven as they were in their modest homes. But they were fine pieces of clothing nonetheless, made up of beautiful hues of red and blue and yellow and green. Magnificent!
I refer to the poncho for it is, in a sense, a metaphor of my life.
In eighty-two years of living, my journey has had moments of ecstasy and moments of despair, times when I was brilliant and times when I looked the fool, times when I made my family proud, and those other times they would have rather thrown me out with the garbage. I am neither bragging nor complaining, but I do wish to make a point: highs and lows come with living. They go with our human nature.
But I am encouraged, for my Bible says “all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.” God may have been pleased with my mistakes nor approve of my willful antics, but He is more than able to take them and of them, to quote the Prophet Isaiah, produce a “garment of praise.”
It may come as a surprise to know that God can take a life that is as checkered as mine and make of it something of beauty. Yes … He takes all of life … our sins, our mistakes, our errors of judgment, and even our failures … and, given our cooperation, weaves them together to make of us a magnificent reflection of His creative genius. The final product we see in Jesus; He was what we have been created to be!
You may wonder at that for Christians are far from perfect. The tapestry of our lives includes the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. But we have been forgiven, we have been taken over by a merciful God, and He is in the process of making of us something we could never hope to become without Him: living models of the Master Himself. Only God could make that kind of a call, and only God can make it happen. But it can happen, and it can happen to you.
You want to talk about it? Hit me up at [email protected]