A few years ago Brady and I dropped off our son, Thaddeus, at his grandparents' house and we ventured into the mountains of North Carolina for a few days to relax and reconnect. We think it’s important to carve out time for each other regularly— for our friendship and our marriage. Just the two of us.
In those few days away, I fell in love with a t.v. show on HGTV called Fixer Upper. It’s not a new show, but because we don’t have cable at our house, I’d never seen it. And now I’m hooked.
The show is hosted by a married couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who help another couple find, purchase, and decorate their first home. But the homes they choose aren’t lookers, by any means. They are raggedy old houses; eyesores that I would never give a second look.
Yet Chip and Joanna see things differently.
They choose a house with a strong foundation, a solid structure. One that can withstand the demolition process. They break down walls, knock out windows, and rip up flooring. But then they begin to rebuild: to cast new walls, to lay new flooring, to add bigger, clearer windows which allow more natural light into the house.
When the renovation is complete, the decorating begins (this is my favorite part!). Furniture is positioned, pictures are hung, dishes fill the new cabinet shelves. Touches of color begin to show up and fill the space with beauty and life. Finally, the couple who purchased the old fixer upper is welcomed into their new home.
At the end of each episode, as I view the before and after pictures, I have to pick my jaw off the floor from amazement. Chip and Joanna have a keen ability to look at something ugly, broken, and seemingly worthless to see potential, beauty, and value of what will be.
I can’t help but think of the connection of this show to my life with God. As I examine myself, I notice that some of the walls inside me need to be broken down. Some of the windows of my soul have become clouded, not allowing enough light to come in.
Thankfully, God is in the renovation business. God chooses me — and you — and begins to work inside of us. God sees beyond what we are now to what we can become. As the Hymn of Promise says, “unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."
What is God doing inside of you? What do you think God is doing with our church?
While Chip and Jo are amazingly talented, I can’t forget that God is the great Fixer Upper! I’m grateful that my life - and yours - are in God’s hands.
Kristin Clark-Banks is the pastor of Forest Hills UMC.