It was just a plain old piece of wood. As far as I could tell, it was not extraordinary or special in any way. Yet my father would observe that same piece of wood and see something completely different. As a highly skilled wood artisan, he saw purpose. He saw potential. He saw a future piece of art.
My father had an incredible gift. He didn’t see merely what was. He saw what could be. Then, with great time, effort, and skill, he would take something ordinary and turn it into a masterpiece. All he needed was the vision for what he would create, and then used his tools and hands to create it.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man [who had been robbed and beaten] was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34, NIV).
Like my father, the Good Samaritan didn’t merely see what was. He saw what could be. He didn’t just see a man who was broken. He saw a man who could be restored. Then motivated by compassion, he used his resources to go about making it so. With his own two hands, he bandaged the wounds of this badly beaten man, lifted him on his donkey, and took him to a place where he could receive healing. Oh, that my heart and actions would continually resemble those of this kind and very good Samaritan man!
I couldn’t always get behind my father’s eyes and capture the vision for what he would create. Yet, more and more, I find myself longing to get a glimpse of my Heavenly Father’s vision for those around me – to see the potential in those with broken dreams, broken hearts, and broken relationships.
If you and I are willing, we can be extensions of God’s grace to those who are struggling with conflict and pain. Like the Good Samaritan, we may have to roll up our sleeves and be willing to get our hands dirty. Yet as our hearts are touched with compassion, we can use the tools we’ve been given to be a part of ministering to those who are masterpieces in the making. The journey may be tough, but the journey is sweet. Come with me. Walk the path.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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