Broken. Overgrown. Left to decay. Mostly unnoticed despite its prominent location off of University Drive, this house stands in relative isolation. Despite its crumbling, exterior walls and other signs of decay, I absolutely love this house! Its condition begs for demolition, and yet this house is still special to me. “Why is this house so special?” This is a question that even I continue to ask myself as I look over my pictures. Here’s why… You see each of the bricks in picture below? Someone laid each and every single one of those and covered them in mortar. Another even painted the brick.
This house is a perfect example of what I was talking about in the post “Redefining Beauty.” The house’s beauty, therefore, does not lie in the perfection of its exterior. The house is beautiful because human hands built it, placing value in it by sacrificing their time and health to build it for another. Although it is deserted now, people once lived in it; this, also, makes it beautiful.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
If we have truly become a follower of Christ, it is our daily mission to grow more and more in the likeness of Christ. If this is so, that means that our actions, beliefs, and even persecutions will mirror His. From this verse in 1 Samuel, we learn that part of living our lives after Christ means rejecting our natural impulse to judge based on the appearance and reputation of another, but to see the heart.
Loving like Christ, then, means seeing others with all of their imperfections, yet remembering that Christ also died to save them. We begin to see just how much Christ loves them and how they are precious to Him. We see their hearts, and we are compelled to love them. Christ’s love compels us….
Just like the broken house, we are broken people. Our brokenness–from sin, from unbelief, from the fall–does not prevent the Lord from loving us. Our hearts, this is what He sees when He looks at us, and this is why He continues to love us. We are beautiful in His sight because He simply sees our exterior decay as an even greater back-drop for the display of His glory once He rebuilds us.
We are broken, yet in the sight of Christ, we are beautifully broken…