…by Chuck Graham
The River Tay1, swollen from melting snow, wandered through a countryside of rolled hay and grazing sheep. Entering the city of Perth, life rushed at a modern pace, but the river took no notice. The Tay just flowed on beneath the arches of Smeaton’s Bridge in its journey to the sea.
Nearby a beautiful, red stone church boasted Gothic arches, large oak doors, and flying buttresses. I could imagine a loving congregation worshiping there. But something was a bit odd.
Across the roof were skylights. Though intended to blend in, they seemed out of place. Then I noticed a brass plaque bolted into the red stone wall. Private Residences. Ah, a house of God no more.
God chooses the foolish and weak, the lowly and despised…
Outward appearances can be quite different from what lies within. We project an image for others to see. A person of integrity and courage, confidence and success, with no problems or the ability to solve them.
But are we always loving, kind, gentle, and patient? Do we always share our faith and hope? Do we always tell the truth? Are we always humble? No. Sometimes we fail. Neither loving nor loveable, foolish not wise, lost in the temporary rather than consumed by the eternal.
We prefer to be known as a saint, not a sinner. So we hide our failures and weaknesses, forgetting that God looks into our eyes, sees into our hearts, and knows exactly who we are. Warts and all.
…drawing those out of darkness to be His light in the world.
And yet, with all our faults and shortcomings, Jesus says, Follow me. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.2 It doesn’t matter what terrible things we may have done. He is willing to take us where we are and guide us into a new life.
Being one who follows God can be difficult, and at times we may fail. But God does not value us by our appearance or assume what’s on the inside. He weighs the heart, even using the weak and foolish to make Himself known in the world.
Skylights are portals through which we look up and see light that can chase away the darkness. And like archways, they may reveal something amazing beyond what we first see.
May God fill you as He desires, move you as He decides, and transform you as He determines…into a skylight through which others will see Him.
Take care & be God’s,
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa , an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
1. The River Tay , begins in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Laoigh ), flowing across the Highlands and central Scotland, through Perth to the Firth of Tay and the North Sea.
2. Read Matthew 9:9,13b.
All photos by Chuck Graham…The River Tay and Smeaton’s Bridge; A Once Church in Perth, Scotland; Skylights; Beyond the Arch of Smeaton’s Bridge