A long time ago, in the land of the 1970s, I was a little girl who visited the corner variety store in Convoy, Ohio called "Bud's". Everything about Bud's was welcoming; the familiar sound of creaky floorboards, the colorful candy display, the dramatic "ca-CHING" of the cash register, and Bud's smile. It was where you went to find good stuff. It was the place to be.
Fast forward to 2013, and we see a much-changed structure. Weathered brick, tattered awning, flaked paint. A building in desperate need of some spit-shine and tender-loving care.
Remember the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life"? Yes, I know we're a long way from Christmas, but indulge me and enjoy the ride. The scene is where George Bailey is ready to throw a rock through a window of the old Granville house. He sees nothing more than a target. Mary Bailey, however, sees the beauty and romance in it. With a bit of time, effort, and elbow grease, she lovingly turns the house into a home. She saw beyond the outward appearance and acted on her vision of what could be.
Repurposing has become the trend. One look on Pinterest and you get the idea. Something once judged trash, broken, or worthless is given new life, made usable once again. It's what Mary Bailey did to the Granville house; it's what the VMC is attempting to do with Bud's; and it's what the Holy Spirit does for us.
Are you bent down by guilt? Sick of trying to paint over your flaws? Weary of building walls to keep your distance? Then I invite you to look at yourself the way God does. "The LORD does not look at things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
Sin is a sickness that causes our house to fall apart. Dress up the outside any way you like, but eventually the layers just chip and peel, leaving us to feel worthless on the inside. The Holy Spirit works from the inside out, gutting the damaged parts and rebuilding on grace and forgiveness.
Crews and volunteers are hard at work and, hopefully very soon, the VMC will be open. Resurrected in purpose and usefulness; a soul revived. Once again the place where you find the good stuff; the place to be. And I sure hope the floorboards still creak.
What do you remember about Bud's Variety Store? Post in the Comments below!