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I’ve been listening to this song called “Beautiful Things” by Gungor every morning on my way to work, as I drive by several villages of kids running around some in school uniforms, some in diapers, and the adults just working hard to have a few things to sell/trade so they can all work together and provide for their families. I see some of the kids catching my eyes and waving frantically with a big smile saying “OBRONI”, which means white person in an endearing way. There is red dust blowing up everywhere, and it even comes through the vents and into my nose and eyes. The kids are playing in it, and the mothers and fathers are accustomed to the constant stain.

From the song I hear:

“All this pain, I wonder if I’ll ever find my way; I wonder if my life could really change, at all. All this earth; could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come up from this ground, at all? You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.”

I see all the pain around me, and in the midst of it, I catch someone’s eye, and we both smile, knowing we are loved by the same God. The dust blows up, and I see through it that God is making something beautiful both in this country and in me. As I talk with the servers of the hotel, who work 7 days a week, 30 days a month, all day for measly pay, and we find out we share a common bond in Christ, we both smile genuinely, and it is beautiful, because God can create beauty out of the dust. He can create beauty out of the typhoon and the Syrian war and our trust in His provision. He can create beauty out of my failures, and he Has in this place.