The Redemption of Carrots

 In Agua Panela, Homeless Shelter, Rehabilitation Programs, Transition Program

By Merlin M. | Volunteer

Let me begin by asking you to bear with me while I bring this illustration to life and forgive me if it’s too cheesy. A fellow volunteer, Luise and I work in the Ciudad Refugio kitchen on Monday mornings helping to prep and clean vegetables for cooking. This past Monday, there was a shipment of donation carrots that needed to be cut and cleaned to be cooked into a soup.  And while elbows deep in the prep process, we started a discussion on how these carrots symbolized our lives in some many ways.

Those of you living overseas have never encountered vegetables in such a state as these carrots; and would never think to use them for human consumption. Some of you may use them for a compost pile instead.  Upon inspection, the carrots were offensive to all your senses: sight, touch, and smell. We didn’t dare try to taste them in the raw form. But carefully, we began the process to peel and cut away the broken and flawed parts and saw that underneath all the bad there was good.  It just needed to be redeemed.  It needed someone who cared enough to endure the hardship of finding it.  What others would just throw away as trash and worthless did have some value; but it needed someone with eyes and a heart to see beyond the exterior to the hidden worth.  And spoiler alert, these carrots were made in a delicious and nutritious soup that fed many!

In many ways, this illustration reminds me of our mission here at Ciudad Refugio.  The men and women who come into the restoration program are just like the carrots-rotten on the outside but with God given worth that needs to be discovered and uncovered.  While many simply walk past these people or consider them a hopeless cause; time and time we have witnessed how with an investment of time and effort these former addicts bloom and transform into who they were created to be.   But this alteration process requires individuals who are patient, disciplined, and willing to invest of themselves to bring about a transformation in the lives of others.  And at Ciudad Refugio, we are blessed to have wonderful leaders and volunteers that day in and day out show the love of God and shine His light so that the men and women in the restoration process can have hope.

But can I be honest, it’s not just the men and women in the restoration program that’s the “bad carrot.” At the end of the day, this illustration also represents my life before Christ.  You see I was broken, lost, rotten and hopeless without His transformative sacrifice and love in my heart.  But He gave of His own life and died on the cross for my sins so that I could be redeemed.  And because of His investment, my life became whole and transformed into something of worth; just like the carrots were made into a hearty soup. Like it says in Romans 5:8-10 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Would you take a moment to reflect on the love and grace of God that saved a “rotten carrot” like you and me? And if you get a chance, go eat a carrot; I hear it’s good for your eyes!

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