Whether it’s perusing Etsy, walking around the West Bottoms, or visiting a friend in their loft, more and more I find the beauty of the repurposed. An empty warehouse is repurposed to be an artsy restaurant. An empty opera house is repurposed to be a coffee shop. A window’s shutters are repurposed to be an ideal location to hold letters. A claw-foot tub is repurposed as a unique couch.
Creative minds not only see what a space, piece of furniture, or restaurant used to be, but also what it can become. One takes an item’s uniqueness and repurposes it for creative brilliance and functional effectiveness. One takes something that is broken, disregarded, and forgotten and adapts it for a different purpose in order to show its intrinsic value and usefulness. It has caused me on more than one occasion to stop and say, “I would have never thought to use this for that…and yet, that works better than I ever could have imagined.”
In those moments, I can’t help but see the gospel. There is a yearning deep within every human being that seeks repurpose and finds great joy when it takes place around us. God tells our current story—our place in history—as a people who are born purposed against Him, manipulating our created existence toward destructive ends. This, in part, is what Scripture means when it says we are a sinful people.
But humankind was not always like this. There was a time—the dawn of time—when God created humankind for the purpose of showing self-giving love to one another and all of creation as we honored God by wholly living into who He designed us to be. Rather than seeking isolation, we sought community. Rather than hurting each other out of our emptiness, we cared for each other out of our fullness. But soon after the dawn of creation, humankind made a cosmological shift. We disregarded God’s purposes back in that ancient garden.
The good news is that God is passionate about repurposing broken creation, and He’s really good at it. The difference, though, between God’s repurposing action and ours is that He longs for His creation to return to His intended or original purpose. He sees who we are and longs to recreate us, to convert us from a skewed existence.
But just like repurposing anything, there is a cost. Through Jesus Christ’s beautiful work on the cross, God paid the price. Jesus Christ took our place so we no longer had to be displaced, and we could be repurposed as a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come with its affirmation of value, usefulness, inclusion, and beauty all over and in it. It is this good news that has caused me on multiple times to pause and say, “I would have never thought to use this for that…and yet, He works better than I ever could have even imagined.”
Have you let God repurpose you? He sees something in you. Something you may not even see in yourself. Something that you may be trying to hide, discard, or ignore. He wants to make it beautiful, if you’ll let Him.
And the next time you’re browsing Etsy or walking through the West Bottoms, may you see the gospel. May you remember Jesus. May you see what God wants to do in you and for you.
Guitar image courtesy of Dishfunctional Designs Blog