Friday, April 18, 2014

A nature path, butterflies, and what was redeemed

We meandered along paths shaded by enormous mangrove trees, and a great variety of tropical trees and bushes that created a tapestry of color and texture. Tiny lizards scampered across our path, and it appeared that hundreds of butterflies were throwing a party.  It was a nature preserve carved out in the middle of a town, a place of refreshment and delight.

And when we came to the end of the path, back to civilization so to speak, I stopped to read the signs alongside the trail.  And that was the wonder of it all.

This place of beauty had been the town dump for decade upon decade, not only for the disposal of reeking garbage but where raw sewage was dumped into its waters.  By 1953, it was the place of the dead, so putrid that it was declared a forbidden zone.

Decades later, a group of people declared that this place of blight need not be deadened in that way.  And they proceeded to redeem the land, restore the waters, reclaim the native plantings, and recreate it the way God intended.  It was the same place, but redeemed.

And as I left that place of coming back from the dead, I realized that is what resurrection looks like in our own lives, allowing us to realize how God sees us, so precious and beloved.  God redeems, restores, reclaims, and recreates.  That is what He does best.

if any one is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has passed away,
     the new has come.

                2 Corinthians 5.17

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