Coffee in hand, I listen to the morning news--news of war and trauma. It is hard to listen and to see the images. Like you, my heart breaks. And I do the things I know to do, pray and give.
Each day, I am greeted by a very different world, a world of freedom and hope. I am reminded that this world in which I live did not come without sacrifice, staunch commitment, pain, and loss. I am so grateful for those who have given so much and who are giving so much! And so, I do the things I know to do, pray and give.
I leave my house to go to the office. It is a beautiful Wednesday morning. Yesterday was cold and dreary but today is a new day! The sun is shining and it is hopeful that the temperature may hit 60 degrees. The birds are singing (one quite loudly), proclaiming it is Spring! I walk out my back door and I'm greeted by yellow daffodils. These harbingers of spring break through the ground with a wonderful fragrance and a burst of color reassuring me that Winter has passed.
Last weekend while visiting the beach, yard sale signs were everywhere, hinting Spring is here. I am amazed at the treasures avid yard sale scavengers find. They see what things can become if cleaned, polished, or given extra care. My sister-in-law Teresa is one of those people. She turns broken pieces of pottery or blemished pieces of furniture into beautiful treasures. She sees past what something looks like to see what it can become.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself at one of these yard sales. Men and women grabbing for things, trying to find a deal, a treasure. "This isn't worth two dollars," a man asserts, "I'll give you a buck."
"Where is the piano you listed for sale?" asks another lady. She finds the old rundown piano tucked away in the garage. She rubs her fingers over the keys. Taking a tissue, she wipes away the dust and dirt. The three women operating the yard sale look at each other with excitement. Maybe this dear lady will take this piece of junk off their hands.
"How much for you want for the piano?" she asks. "Fifty dollars if you pick it up today," the three women say in unison.
She sits at the piano and plays "What a Friend We Have In Jesus." She plays a message of love and grace. The people at the yard sale begin to gather around. They are amazed at the wonderful sound.
The hearts of the women operating the yard sale soften as she plays. They offer the piano to her for free. It is a treasure in the lady's hands.
Like the piano, we become treasures in God's hands. At Baptist Children's Homes (BCH), this is the message we share with those who come to us hurt and broken, worn down by the trauma they have experienced.
They are like the piano. They have not been given the care they needed. We wipe the dirt and dust from their lives and we show them they are valuable and full of potential. We tell them, "God created you wonderful. God created you awesome. God created you magnificent. You are truly special treasures."
Patricia is one of those special treasures. She came to us thinking she had no value. She came to us broken by severe abuse and neglect. But then something incredible happened in her life. Miss Judy, her houseparent, told her she was a special treasure to God. She asked Jesus into her heart. Through the love and care she received at BCH, Patricia has become a beautiful, Christian young woman, graduating college and getting married. Caring for and bringing joy to those around her is her passion.
What a joy to watch those we serve have the freedom to blossom and grow! But we are not alone in making a difference in the lives of those we serve. You are here with us, encouraging, doing that which we know to do--pray and give.
In May, you will have an opportunity to go as well. Plan now to go to one of our campuses for a one-day mission opportunity. Check out our "Friends of Children" work day information at bchfamily.org/friends-of-children.
Thank you for seeing Patricia and the many others we care for each day as treasures--God's treasures.
The next time you stop at a yard sale or you look at a daffodil or you hears the birds singing, take a moment and pray. Pray for a child in crisis--needing hope. Pray for a family falling apart--needing hope. Pray for a man or woman who just lost custody of their children due to drug abuse--needing hope. Pray for a young woman sitting in an abortion clinic--needing hope. Pray for a two-year-old left in a trash can in Guatemala--needing hope. Pray for a world at war--needing hope.
Let's all do what we know to do: pray, give, and for some, go. I want to give a shout out to our dear friends with Baptists on Mission. Please pray for them as they go.
Thank you for being a difference-maker in the lives of those we serve. Think of someone who has been a difference-maker in your life. Don't waste an opportunity to tell them they are a treasure. And thank God for the immense treasure He has been in your life.
Thank you for sharing the Easter story with those we serve 365 days a year. Last Easter, three of our beautiful children asked Jesus into their hearts. In the hands of Jesus, they are all treasures. for more information, call me at 336-689-4442 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.bchfamily.org.
Written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications