Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Alive" (ReBuilt: A Modern Parable of the Justified)



It’s not all work. He fishes with you on still waters. You both shoot hoops at the YMCA and join friends at Buffalo Wild Wings for March Madness. Being around him restores your soul even while your callouses thicken.* You realize that you are absorbing his ideas, his language, his priorities, his way of living life abundantly.**

Others join you. Some bring their dead; some have been set free. Some still live in shacks; others are working with the ReBuilder on mansions. The Rebuilder welcomes them all. He didn’t come to condemn the dead to their bare cold shacks. He came to save them and rebuild their lives.*** You invite even more to hang out with you.****

And slowly but surely, your house is becoming a mansion.+ You find that you easily congratulate others whose houses are flourishing, and you compassionately help neighbors who are struggling. The blueprint makes more sense than it used to. You look forward to your alarm clock. The old landlord still comes around, but more than ever you see through his lies.++ He rarely makes it past the bottom step of the porch. Your Dead self stays on the sidewalk.

You notice a neighbor starting to work on his house. He looks miserable. You take him some water one hot, miserable day and find out he found a blueprint. “Oh,” you say, “Did you meet the ReBuilder?”

“No,” says your neighbor. “Why would he want to help with my house? It’s horrible. I am going to fix it up enough so the ReBuilder will notice. I think I can make mine nicer than yours. Once I make it good enough, I’ll be ready for the ReBuilder.”

You say, “This isn’t Field of Dreams. This isn’t, ‘If you build it, he will come.’ It doesn't work that way. Put your tools away. Stop trying to do it yourself.+++ Unless the Rebuilder builds it, your labor is useless.++++ It’s making you angry and annoying your neighbors, and the next big storm is going to put you back at square one.”^ He returns to his works. His Dead Self turns and smirks at you as you walk away.

You find that, the longer you work with the ReBuilder, more than a few note that you are starting to look more and more like Him.^^ You are humbled and encouraged; your friends used to comment on the eerie similarity between you and your former landlord.^^^ This is much better.

“But,” they say, “what’s with the ongoing work? You told us this was a gift.”

“Working side by side with the ReBuilder is also a gift,” you say.^^^^ “I don't deserve to be his apprentice. Who am I to swing a hammer on this house? Who am I to cut expensive trim, and build a strong chimney? I brought nothing to this project, but he gives me everything I need to build great things.>

“He has given me far above what I could ask or think.>> I just wanted to know Him and understand what kind of person gives grace to the failures and life to the dead.  I just wanted to be near him and be like him. And then all these things,” (here he waved his hand to show his house, his tools, the work of his hands, the campfire where he sat with his friends) were added unto me.>>>> This, my friends, is what happens when obedience responds to grace. This is life.”* 

*Psalm 23
**2 Corinthians 3:18
***John 3:17
****1 John 3:10
+Philippians 1:6
++John 8:44
+++Isaiah 64:6
++++Psalm 127:1
^Matthew 7:24-27
^^Ephesians 5:1
^^^John 8:44; 1 John 3;10
^^^^1 Corinthians 1:9
>Colossians 3:1-12
>>Ephesians 3:20
>>>Philippians 3:10
>>>>Matthew 6:33
*John 10:10; Romans 8:12-14

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