Abandoned Building
Photo and Commentary ©2017 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It was an interesting question I posed to myself after looking at this image I had taken. What is the difference between artistically rustic and dilapidated? And which term best describes this particular building? After some consideration of the options, I concluded that both alternatives had merit and I could easily switch from one to the other depending upon the way I elected to view the subject. The first, artistically rustic, was undoubtedly the reason the picture was taken in the first place. The rural setting, the graceful vines, and the weathered logs all added to the pleasantness of the image imagined in my mind.

But what if I were interested in purchasing the building as a fixer-upper, with the intent of doing just that, and making a few bucks on the side? Somehow the second term seems more appropriate under those conditions. It seems usage has more to do with the words we select than whether we are having a half-full or half-empty day. Put another way, are we more concerned with aesthetics or function?

Which brings us to our final question: How does God see us? Certainly rundown and dilapidated seems to fit when we consider our own sinfulness. And as far as being a fixer-upper, we are in far worse shape than the old house. A new coat of paint just won’t do it. I choose to believe God still sees within us the beauty which was part of His original creation. But He has promised to make us a new creation; nevertheless, one that hasn’t lost the identity that makes us unique and special, one that was given to us at birth.

And that new home promised to us in John 14? Somehow the beauty has to be there – but without any of the plumbing problems we might encounter down here.