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The Pink Palace

Last month, an {em} team travelled just over our southern border to a sleepy little beach town called Primo Tapia. We spent nearly a week there partnering with our friends at Casa de Luz. We did a little VBS for the kids, hosted a couple small events for the women, sat in on conversational English class, delivered food baskets, heard some stories, shed some tears, said lots of prayers. It was a privilege to step into the world of these amazing single moms for those few days.

One of our team projects for the week was to paint and repair an old double-wide trailer that had recently been moved to a lot near the ministry center. The new owners were a vivacious single mom and her kids. There was some family history with this house, but it hadn’t been occupied for years and Becky could hardly contain her excitement at the thought of finally moving in to it.

With the house’s somewhat dilapidated siding painted a vibrant shade of salmon pink, we affectionately referred to this baby as the pink palace. Still up on blocks, we had to climb in and upon our initial inspection it appeared that Becky’s hopes of moving in the next week were totally unrealistic. There was so much work to be done just to make it livable; a fresh coat of paint can hide a multitude of flaws but the paneling was disintegrating in places, the floorboards were gone, the bathroom rotted. It seemed like a lost cause. Good bones will only take you so far.

In the end, our token male team members labored diligently all week to tenaciously scrub clean the dirty places, carefully repair the broken places, and lovingly refresh all the existing functional places. After just a week of dedicated attention and tender care, Becky has a place that will not only serve her and her kids, it will bless others as well as she welcomes her community into her home to share the love of Jesus.

As our team talked over breakfast on our last day together, a lesson began to take shape for some of us. We marveled at what had been accomplished in just a few days, especially as we remembered how we had felt when we first walked—climbed—into the pink palace. It had felt so overwhelmingly raw at first, and like it might not exactly be worth all the effort transformation was going to require. As we continued to reflect, a powerful metaphor was begging to be drawn out. Finally, John said, “To God, we are all the pink palace.”

And he’s right. We are all just like the pink palace at some point: dirty, broken, and requiring nothing less than a thorough and massive transformation. God, however, knows nothing of lost causes or hopeless cases. He knows nothing of “it’s not worth it.” Because to Him, we are worth it. We are worth every tender repair He has to make, every gentle cleansing He has to give, and every shoring up of the weary frame that’s held us fast through the storms of life. Why? Our God invests Himself in our transformation, no matter how hard it will be or how long it will take or how much it will cost because when He is finished, our lives will be rebuilt into the image of Jesus and our doors will be open to any and all who need shelter.

So long live the pink palace! And may we all submit ourselves to the tender renovations of our God, and remember that all His hard and transformative work in us is not for nothing. It is for Him. It is for us. It is for others. And it is worth it. You are worth it.


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