Saturday, November 21, 2009


My dad had a habit of seeing the potential in people and situations. He reached out with words of love and kindness, always offered a smile, and often a helping hand. He accepted people where they were at, but sought to point them in the direction of the Savior, the one who takes broken lives and makes them new again.

The old barn lay in ruins back in the late sixties, a useless heap of broken boards and beams, but Dad saw the potential. He had a plan. With permission from the land owner he slowly and painstakingly disassembled the the pieces, loaded them onto his little trailer, and hauled them eighty miles home. He made several trips before the job of hauling was finished and then began the real task. He cut and fit the old barn boards to cover the walls in the new addition to our house, the "country room".

Those old boards weren't always kind to my sisters and I. Though they looked pretty in their new home, for many years they had some terribly rough edges called "slivers". We had plenty in our years of growing up, so many in fact, that those old boards now have no slivers left to give. I can run my bare hand over those once rough boards without a worry.

Jesus knows our potential too, after all He is our creator, but all too often we deny what He has intended for our lives and turn the other way to do our own thing. We end up tired, discouraged and used up. Sometimes it appears as though there is nothing of potential left in our lives. We crumble and fall a ruined heap. But He doesn't want to leave us there, He has a plan.

Had my dad not seen the potential in that fallen down barn so many years ago, it either would have rotted away or been set ablaze. Instead the old beams and timbers grace the walls and ceilings of my parent's little home. They have sheltered many guests through time and brought a sense of peace and comfort to friends and family all because someone was able to see their potential.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14