Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Power of Light by Pete Hardesty

Written by Pete Hardesty, YL College Director at James Madison University and YLC Divisional Coordinator for Eastern and Greater NY divisions. Read more of Pete's thoughts on his blog

A couple weeks ago my friend Romesh sent me this picture of trash.  He wrote, “The light reveals beauty in what at first appears to be a pile of waste...this is the story of my life!” 

As Young Life leaders we get to engage with young people who often feel like their life is just a pile of waste. My teenager friends constantly struggle with insecurity and feeling like they are not good enough.

As we go this fall into middle schools, high schools, and college campuses, we get the high privilege of being torch bearers and shining the light into the darkness. We get to remind kids that their value isn’t determined by what they do, but by what Jesus did on the cross. He is the Light of the world. He is the One who calls us His beloved. He is the Great Artist. He is the Author and Perfector of our faith. He is the Transformer of lives.

In the right hands, chaos, confusion, and brokenness become beauty.

Every middle schooler.
Every high schooler.
Every college student.

They all have beauty within. Great potential inside.

But often it’s hidden by a rough exterior.  Shine the light in the right place and the potential is unlocked. 

God does extraordinary things through ordinary people.  Broken people.  Confused people. Through Young life leaders like me and you. 

God loves to take a scar and make it a beauty mark.  He loves to take things that were meant for evil and turn them into good. 

But it’s not a quick fix. It’s a process. It’s a journey.

Some of those sculptures took months and even years. 
Some young people take months and even years to open up their hearts.

How do we as Young Life leaders play our role in God’s work of art?

We join the Maker in His vision of the way things could be. 

We look at people through His eyes and look for the beauty within.

We hold a crown above their heads and let them grow up into it.*

But it’s not just true of our teenage friends, it’s true of us as well. He makes beautiful things out of us.

Do you believe that the light of Christ has re-made you? That He has taken your brokenness and made it beautiful?

In Matthew 3:17, during Jesus’ baptism, God breaks protocol and audibly speaks.

“A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved son, with whom i am well pleased.”

As we head into a new school year, may we too hear those same words from our Heavenly Father who has adopted us.

May we believe the words of 2 Corinithans 5:17, that “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

Go. Shine your light into the darkness.

This photo project,  called “Dirty White Trash,” is by the 2 provocative artists, Tim Noble and Sue Webster.  They collected their own trash for 6 months and transformed it over time.   

*Original thought from Pat Goodman. 

A similar article was originally posted at Pete's blog,

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