Here is the recent Ambassador article; The Editor titled it "Thrift Store Gospel". I would have put something more like "Redemption, isle 3", but I am consistently forgetting to add my title of choice. I'll learn someday.
It’s dirty, musty smelling, and a little shifty when you first walk in. Children are playing on the floor. No one greets you when you walk in, actually they don’t seem to even have noticed you. There really seems to be no sense of order, just rows and rows of junk piled ceiling high. Why are you even here?
Thrift Stores. They offer cheap prices, at the expense of providing you with the typical shopping experience. Why bother with them? I’ll tell you. If you have a washer capable of high heat, thrift stores can be a great way to expand your wardrobe without reducing the size of your wallet. And to let you in on a little secret, it might be a good way to gain an abstract perspective on how God views us.
There is something romantic about the idea that you’re wearing someone else’s clothes. Not in the creepy “I haven’t washed these” sense, but the notion that the same shirt that got someone else through their day is now along for the ride with you for yours. When I walk into a thrift store, I think about the redemption that I’ve received. When I pick up a dress off the shelf, I don’t see the rather out-dated cut and the shoulder pads; instead I see the potential for a smart looking sheath (it’s a cut of dress, for the gentlemen out there reading this) that would pair nicely with a cardigan. The best part? At check out, after tax, it’s $2.80. Throw in a belt and the look comes together, perfect for church! All it took was a little hemming, a hot hot hot wash (just in case), and some luck at finding it in the mess.
I can’t help but think that God thinks of us as thrift stores sometimes. We have some good qualities that He originally planned for us to have, but we also have a lot of junk that we’ve picked up along the way. I don’t know if God has ever been called this, but He is the master Tailor. He can hem out our bad habits, wash out our stains and sins, and renew us with His Divine purpose. All we need to do is let Him into our mess and give ourselves over to His will. Just like 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, once we do we’ll be a beautiful new creation.