Friday, July 10, 2009
This past week my group had an opportunity to partner with a ministry called the Magdalene Project. Magdalene is designed to help women who prostituted get back on their feet and heal. They discovered that due to criminal records many of these women were having trouble finding jobs. So they created Thistle Farms to provide job opportunities for the women who have completed the program.
Thistles have to be harvested to make the paper that their products are packaged in...enter my group from Shreveport Louisiana!
Yup. They harvested all of those (plus some) in about an hours time. I don't think I have ever sweated like I did that day. We had fun and laughed as the thistles poked us from all angles, but the sweat was pouring down my face like nothing else! And it's only JUNE!
The best part about this particular excursion was the reason we were there. Now, all my people from back home know I love metaphors and word pictures. And a thistle creates ample opportunity for that!
The thistle is a weed. It's not wanted by gardeners and not welcome among the pretty plants. It has pokey leaves and a sharp sting. Its roots dig deep into the ground and are able to grow through concrete.
These women come from lives of being an outcast of society. They have pasts that are rooted in a number of things: a desire to be loved, a need for quick cash, addictions, abuse, neglect, self-mutilation, a void.
But there is beauty in both! The thistle has a bright purple center that can be pulped down into a new creation of paper with some hard work and dedication.
These women are beautiful! They are created by a loving, forgiving God who can renew them into a new creation with a little work and dedication from the women.
No matter where we are, God is faithful.
He is ready to pull us up from the roots of sin and make us a new creation in Him.
I love my job because I get to see this and be a part of this everyday! But no matter where we are or what we are doing, God is moving. If we are willing to be uprooted and re-potted by the Master Gardener beautiful things can happen!
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Get excited about that! Our God LOVES us and FORGIVES us and USES us. We are blessed.
-Jody Glazner, CSM Nashville Summer 2009 City Host