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Seeds of the Kingdom

Castoffs

by Dean Gardner

13 September 2022

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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10, NLT

Gemma and I have experienced various challenges living in the narrow back street where our house is situated. One of those challenges is from what is described as ‘fly-tipping’, the illegal dumping of items or rubbish. Many times, I’ve had to report such incidents to our local government environmental department, and they’ve taken the items away. I’m grateful for the service they provide.

A few weeks ago, a child’s pushchair or stroller appeared just along from our front door. It was in quite good condition and had been seen by Gemma earlier in a nearby road when she was taking our dog for his morning walk. Someone had obviously decided to move it on into our road. I could have made yet another fly-tipping report to the council environmental department, but, instead, I moved the pushchair into a more prominent position where it could be seen by passers-by, and perhaps taken by someone who could make use of it.

After three days sitting where I had placed it, still unclaimed, I decided to try and help the pushchair look its best. I removed and cleaned its padded seat and sun canopy and washed the frame and wheels. After a few minor repairs, I then took it back to its roadside position with a note taped on its handle saying, ‘Free Please Take’.

When I went outside twenty-five minutes later, I looked over to where I’d placed the pushchair. For a moment I thought it had been vandalised – its handle looked different. When I went to investigate, I found a different pushchair in place of the one I’d so recently cleaned and mended. We’ve got video cameras fitted to each of our outside walls to deter drug crime in our road, so I looked at footage from the camera overlooking where I’d left the pushchair, interested to know who had taken it.

I was blessed to see two women, both with pushchairs stopping to read the note I’d taped to the handle of the pushchair. Immediately, one of the women transferred her small child from her old, battered pushchair to the one she was now claiming as her own and both women went on their way.

I’ve been thinking of how blessed I was to see that pushchair being taken by that woman. It was a castoff, probably destined for the crusher at the local recycling facility, but after some tender loving care it was fit for purpose again, and a blessing to that mother and child.

I thought of how incomparably greater is the joy in heaven, as Jesus takes a person who feels like a castoff, and with His tender loving care restores them to be His masterpiece, fit for the purpose they were created, ready to do the good things He planned for them. He loved to do that when He walked on earth, and He loves to do it still. He’s Someone you can bring the broken pieces of your life to, and you don’t have to clean yourself up before He’ll accept you.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.

 

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