As we undertake the reconstruction of the Williams Building, I often look for lessons the old girl can teach us. And being the voracious reader that I am, often a phrase or paragraph from a recent book will come to mind that links two similar ideas together. Such has been the case lately. Let me explain…
With every visit to the site in my safety gear and camera in hand, I am amazed at the amount of work that has been accomplished in such a short time. The demo team is almost finished and the asbestos is long gone. Exterior wall framing begins soon and we will be able to see the first indication of real change, where the windows will fit and how big they will be. Add the sample brick wall panel into the mix and all of sudden things are new and life is being breathed back into the structure. Once the HVAC ductwork is installed, then interior framing begins and the plumbers and electricians take over. Then its drywall, ceilings, paint and floor coverings and before you know it, the Williams Center is alive and humming with people and the many activities we are called to undertake here in this small corner of Dilworth. In no small way, the Williams Center is God’s remodeling project of the South End.
Recently I was reading one of Max Lucado’s books and he used that exact phrase, God’s remodeling project to talk about building the lives and heart of those who are his children. And a light bulb went off to remind me that there are tremendous parallels between the remodeling of my life and heart that is only a few years older than the Williams Building itself and our work to create the Williams Center. For our age we are in pretty good health, we seem to have good bones for the most part, have been well cared for and have survived a storm or two along the way. Hopefully I have been as welcoming and as strong as the bricks and mortar of the building, but I know there have been times when a weakness has been made all too apparent. That’s life and I am sure there have been some weaknesses corrected over the years in the building too. Nothing physical is ever perfect!
But even in the building’s physical strength, God is leading us to open the walls and windows much wider to let in more light, add more doors to welcome more people in, asking us to tear down walls that kept love inside and people out and asking us to beckon to a lost world that we have a great story to tell and share. Bobby’s sermon of this past week was spot on that we are not to judge based on any external factor and that all should be welcome here, even those that think and act much differently that we do. If Jesus was here, isn’t that what he would do? Of course! He remodels sinners and we need that just as much as the world does.
So will we let our lives be continuously remodeled too? Can we get past the sands of tradition and build constantly growing lives on the foundation of Jesus’ truth and message of mercy, grace and forgiveness? Are we open to being changed by the Master Carpenter who knows us better than we know ourselves? I for one answer an emphatic yes to that question, and I hope you and the entire church will become a part of the journey of renewal and remodeling to serve a Living and Risen Savior! If He can make an old building new, how much more so can he make us more like Him?