Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So often I have met people who feel broken, abused, or thrown away.

In August of 2000, I moved my family to a northern suburb of Indianapolis. We were very excited about the home the Lord provided for us. To date, it is still our favorite of those we have owned. It had a raised front porch. That porch was perfect for rockers (the chairs, not the music style). The problem was, we didn't own any.

My Mother believed as we did, and saw to it that we got them. She called it a housewarming gift, but it was really her way of meeting a need that she knew we could not. She found a supplier of double-seated and regular rocking chairs, and bought us one of each. I don't remember how we got them home, I just know they were very bulky.

We spent many hours in those chairs over the next six years. We'd go out during rainstorms, and rock while sipping a cup of coffee, and just listen to the rain. Other times, we would hang out there with our kids, talking over issues, major or minor, it didn't matter. We loved that porch.

I remember BJ doing homework out there. I wrote messages (sermons) out there. Whitney and a friend often sat out there to talk. Lauren retreated there when she was upset. Sometimes it was just a place to escape to.

When we moved to Monrovia, we packed the chairs up and took them with us. They were a bit weathered already, and I should have re-treated them. However, I never seemed to get around to that.

In Monrovia, we had no covered porch. The rockers still got a great deal of use, but they began to weather hard. I felt I had waited too long to repair or restore them. Though they were still able to hold a load, they did not look very nice.

That is often how we look. The battle of life can be a difficult one. We do get battered and bruised. Sometimes, we bring it on ourselves by making bad choices. Other times, those around us make bad choices, and we pay the price for it. No matter the cause, we get weathered, and feel defeated. We struggle to find much value in and of ourselves. We even feel others see no use for us.

Incredibly, our Lord never views anyone as a lost cause! He always sees through the broken exterior, and can view our untapped potential. Because of Him, and His view of us, we can be reworked, refined, renewed.

I opted to leave those broken down chairs behind when I moved this time. I struggled with the decision, and feared breaking my Mother's heart. With all we had been through, and the uncertainty of the future, it just didn't make any sense to take them along, and pay for the extra weight on the moving truck. I left them.


Around the time I left, my close friend Lowell came over to help pack. He offered to purchase them. I was embarrassed because they were in such sad shape. I gave them to him, and considered it a blessing that he wanted them. Like our Savior, he saw the potential that was held within, though the outside was a mess.

This past weekend, Deanna and I spent our nights in their home. They were very gracious to us while we were there.

Adorning the front patio of their home out in the country were two retooled rocking chairs. I know it must have taken many hours, but I can tell you it was worth it. They were freshly painted and sturdy. Ready for new life, many more hours of enjoyment, and the making of new memories.

Like Lowell's redemptive view of something that seemed ready to be discarded, Christ looks upon you and I in that very same way. We may need a lot of hours of work and restoration, but the project is highly worthwhile. Never give up on yourself, or those the Lord has put in your path. Allow Him to work, and you will see beautiful results!

dad

12 Comments:

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock On! God is so amazing! Thank you for allowing Him to speak through you on so many different and varied topics, yet each one relevant to someone's need. Bless you there!

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

We also need to look at OTHERS as Lowell looked at those chairs. We need to see them with His eyes of compassion. We need to pull them out of the trash or the back of the shelf, apply some prayerful TLC, and do anything else God has equipped us to do to bring them back into availability for service--reminding them all the while that He did not come for the healthy but for the sick, not for the whole but for the broken, and that as Emmanuel, God-with-us, He is right there all the time even when He seems the farthest away.

I know. He has broken me that He might use me, and He's doing it--even now. Linda R. knows (making tough calls and praying for Hollie). Lattany knows (on the field and caring for Corbin and family). We ALL have our areas of hurt and need, and we are learning, however slowly, to see His abundant supply.

Dear Higgins family, I would never go so far as to imply that He took BJ that He might more fully use you. I just know that we are all blessed to see His fruit in your lives. He IS bringing life from death and light from darkness--over and over again. He IS calling many to take BJ's place! Thank you for the faithfulness and obedience that you show us. I know this has allowed holy healing to wash over you in the powerful, visible ways that give you (and us) "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."

Jesus--we love you! Higgins--know that you are so surrounded by so great a cloud. . .

with tender love,

Marti

 
At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Laura O. said...

I really enjoyed today's post. As I have been struggling a lot with how some people view the homeless crowd. My prayer is that we will see them as fully human and that someone will come alongside them and restore them and give them hope.

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

hey dad-

i hope things are going well! my summer is getting off to a fun but slow start! i've been feeling under the weather.. and i need to fully recover so i can continue training for my mission trip.. please pray for that. we leave on the 25th.. i know you'll be out of the country, but ya know.. fyi =)

mary just got the final ok from her parents! it seems that we really are coming to tulsa!! we'll keep you posted on our travel plans!!

much love and prayers

~kristin

 
At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to this site after having read MercyMe's dedication of "I would die for you" on their latest CD. I understand BJ kept a journal and think many teens as wells as adults could benift from reading his own thoughts, struggles and triumphs. Are there any plans to publish something of this nature?

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Christ Renews 11 - Sisters in Christ said...

What a beautiful analygy of life. Praying in Pink said it best . . .
We do get weathered and torn, sometimes beyond recognition, yet the Lord still sees us where we are and allows us the opportunity to restore from the inside out! It is so beautiful to come from broken into the fullness of Christ. Sometimes it takes time, alot of effort (sanding and reworking the nails and screws holding us together), but with each step with Christ at the center of our lives, an amazing transformation comes to fullness in His glory! Joy ends sorrow and light ends darkness. Thank you for reminding us to reach to those broken, weathered and torn -- to assist them in God's work of restoration. Brent, your words through Christ are powerful today, as always!! ROCK ON!!

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

I have been doing some work w/ foster children for a little over a year now.
Scott and I are taking classes right now to become foster parents. Just like your rockers, there are so mnay children that have just been (weathered) unloved, uncared for. They all have that potential of being restored. With a lot of love, hugs and many prayers the ones that will come through our home will prayerfully leave with a new coat of paint. The motto our teachers use is "we can change lives one child at a time"
Thank You for todays blog it was very heartwarming and a great reminder of why I became involved with these children in the frist place.
With love and prayers from KC Tracy

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

Brent-- Thanks to you, our family was able to put those rockers to good use this Sunday too as we all sat outside together to enjoy the wonderful weather. Of course, we would have rather had you and Deanna there with us in person, but we know how much you treasure those rockers and so it felt cool having you "close by". It was also great to see you this weekend! What you shared at Johnny and Laura's wedding was awesomly touching (and yes, you did the right thing!).
Miss and love you LOADS! Thanks for the lesson today!
Hugs and kisses,
Amy (for Nate-dog too)

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,
Our family has already enjoyed time spent on the "rockers." There's not a time I go past them that I don't think of you. When I started to rework them I thought this won't take much time or effort, but soon realized I had spent more time than I had anticipated, and that was just on repairing the "single" rocker. After completing painting the "double" I knew they both needed a second coat(which I have not done yet). After reading todays blog, I am so glad that God doesn't get tired of repairing and restoring me. I will not mind doing the second coat as badly now, and you need to know that you always have a "rocker" on the front porch in Mooresville.

KPO

Elsie Jay

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger brobrad said...

Elsie Jay -- you just may find me gimping up to your front porch to sit and enjoy the country as soon as I can drive again!

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Higgens family,
I have never met you nor did I get a chance to meet your son. I know he was a wonderful person and I look forward to meeting him when I get to Heaven.
I have been following your story for almost 10 months I think.
I love your family and hope to meet you some day. Your story has blessed my life more than you can imagine.
Please pray for me now and I will continue to pray for you.
I was wondering if and when the book about BJ be available.
I love MercyMe's song. I waited so long to hear that.
May God bless you and be with you as you tell people about Him.
Love, Tiffany (Florida)

 
At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting into words what God spoke to you so that others can be blessed.

 

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