Years ago, while visiting my childhood home in New Hampshire, one of my four children spilled milk all over the kitchen floor. Today, I would just grab a roll of paper towels. Thirty years ago, I went to the rag bin. Before recycling and repurposing became an industry, New Englanders practiced the art of seeing the potential in everything. We could never bring ourselves to throw anything away. Clothes were mended, stitched and repaired. If something was beyond repair, it was banished to the rag bin.
Our bin was really a box, hidden behind the vacuum cleaner in the hallway closet. I rummaged around, and that is when I saw it. Peeking out from the grungy, threadbare and beyond repair pile, I recognized the familiar pattern of my doll’s quilt. I snatched it up, “What is this doing in the rag bin!”
My mother explained ink had spilled on it. Seeing my astonishment, she went on to explain the stitching was coming apart. It was just a rag to her. But I could see past the stains and fraying seams. All I saw, and felt, were the memories of playing with this quilt. The cool cotton and smooth flannel backing reminded me of tucking in my dolls in at night. Holding this well-loved blanket today quilts my past with my present.
Sometimes, people cannot see beyond the flaws and all they can focus on is the stain. But God sees past our faults and the flaws in others. He knows our potential. He has gifted us with a profound purpose. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV. It is a privilege to work with over 20 churches, dedicated volunteers and hundreds of partners as we discover our shared purpose in Him.