August 19, 2008
Extreme Makeover Meets the Real World
By Kelli Regan, She Speaks! Graduate
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10 (NIV)
About a year ago, a family in my community received a new home courtesy of ABC’s hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. For a week, construction professionals and good-hearted volunteers worked side-by-side as the thrill of
Excitement bubbled everywhere I went. Even my kids came home from school abuzz with tales of who knew the recipient family, whose dad was a worker at the site, and who (gasp!) had actually met Ty Pennington!
At the end of the week, amid thousands of cheering people, the family shouted those famous words, “Bus driver, move that bus!” and a magnificent mini-mansion was revealed. It was glorious.
Fast forward almost exactly one year later. Literally right around the corner from this Extreme Makeover was another home, with another family in overwhelming need.
A single mother needed to quickly sell her ex-husband’s house after his recent death. But it was badly run down, and an open house was scheduled for just two weeks away. Overwhelmed by the task at hand, she sent out a call for help to our church family. Soon dozens of volunteers—armed with toolboxes, yard tools and paint brushes—arrived. Side-by-side they hammered, sawed, spackled, painted, repaired, vacuumed, dusted, raked, mulched and more! And when it was done, it was glorious. I know because I was there.
Arriving on the last day, I gazed at the sparkling house and was awed by my brothers and sisters in Christ who had selflessly and immediately joined together to do what seemed a daunting task with an impossible deadline.
As I worked in the quiet of the front yard, the official Extreme Makeover home loomed in the distance as a startling counterpoint. Sure it’s spectacular, but it’s fantasy—a wood, shingle and glass lottery ticket. Our life’s problems are rarely, if ever, solved so extravagantly and beautifully.
At my friend’s house we had experienced an extreme home makeover in the real world. We saw what it looks like when we love one another as Jesus commanded. We saw what the Master Carpenter meant when He said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35, NLT). Without cameras, celebrities, front-page stories or cheering crowds they offered hard work, a helping hand, and even a shoulder to cry on.
Our group of volunteers is special, but not unusual. Every day church families everywhere join together to do this very thing. We don’t do it for fame or recognition. We do it because that’s what the Bible tells us to do.
When I drove home that final day, the newly-planted For Sale sign silently proclaimed our glorious transformation. As it faded in my rear view mirror, I realized the most life-changing makeovers don’t happen in the glow of the spotlight, but in the quiet of our own hearts with God spearheading the effort.
Dear Lord, thank You for the example of love we have in Jesus. Forgive me for putting my needs above the needs of others. Help me to be more loving so I can respond selflessly and generously to my brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Share the love of Christ by offering an extreme “hope” makeover to a child in need.
Welcome to Community: Experiencing Life the Way God Intended by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer
Move Me Aside Worship CD with Lindsey Kane
Think of someone in your church family (a widow, a single mom or family in need) who needs help around their home. Gather your Bible study or a group of friends to tackle a project there. Make it a regular event.
What situations, circumstances or attitudes keep me from saying “yes” when opportunities to help arise?
Where is God calling me out of my comfort zone to help others?
Philippians 2:2-4, “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 19 August 2008.