My attention was captivated by a small advert I saw for a very striking necklace made from empty bullet shells. My first thought was,”how could something so beautiful have been made from something as horrible as a bullet?”
Ethiopian farmers today are plagued with old bullet casings, from so many past conflicts. These litter miles of farmland, threatening to damage farm equipment and livestock.
Being a maker of jewellery from recycled materials, I was fascinated by the story behind this necklace. These spent bullet casings are collected, taken to local women in Ethiopia, and transformed into beautiful jewellery. The income from the jewellery made from these once spent, forgotten, lying in the dirt bullet casings, supports families and communities all over Ethiopia. As I read on, my heart started to beat a little faster – This story sounded familiar, in a strange sort of way.
Restored, refilled and reloaded:
I was like that spent shell casing. Lying broken in the dust and dirt, after ‘so many past battles’.
But God is in the business of restoration. He puts ‘spent shells’ back into service and in His hand they become something beautiful and something powerful for His Kingdom.
Those bullets, littering Ethiopia, once made to take away life and bring harm, are now commissioned to bring life and hope to communities in the form of desperately needed income all over that once war-torn country.
This is what our amazing God does in the lives of people like you and I. He took our ‘spent-shell’ hearts, and lives transformed us into something beautiful.
“You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”
Isaiah 61:1-3a “The spirit of the sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has chosen me. He has commissioned me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners, to announce the year when the LORD will show his favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn, to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement.”
“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”