We've had a few situations in life and church and ministry and life (can I repeat that?) that remind me of the Beauty and the Beast. Here's the beastly part:
People sin. They're really good at it too. I wish I could exclude myself from this category. I wish I could somehow exempt my kids or church members or any number of folks I care about from this. But I can't. We're all jacked up. Everyone of us.
But the beauty? Sheesh. It's gorgeous. Sunrise or sunset, take-your-breath-away, stop-and-stare, mouth open, pancake-sized eyes, maybe even a little-bit-of-drool kind of beautiful. It's the kind of beauty that finds a rose in the middle of a trash heap. The contrast is actually what enhances what's is inherent within it already.
The beauty is the redemption.
Lives are changed from getting t-boned and bashed by circumstances to a steadiness of foot amid the wreckage. People go from an immature, selfish, emotional two-year old to people you'd count on to be your pallbearers. The tree bark that your nose is pressed into and is so uncomfortable and threatening becomes a reminder that there is a forest and not just a tree, so the perspective changes and the big picture is something better than you could have ever painted - heck, ever imagined.
The kicker for me is that I often times find myself desiring the beauty of redemption without the beast of what we need to be redeemed FROM. If there's not a messy artist's studio, there's no amazing art that comes from it. It pushes me toward patience until the beauty shows itself.
Be patient, Trent. Be patient.