As I walked outside to grab some lunch, I stopped short in my tracks and looked around at the brand new landscaping that stretched from one end of the building to the other. Fresh, evenly distributed red mulch proudly shone from the ground up, carefully encircling the newly planted shrubs.
I stopped our Property Maintenance Director who was smoothing out straw colored mulch in our children’s playground. He set his rake down and pointed out to me that all of this mulch had been donated. Naturally I asked, “by whom?” It was a wonderful response.
There was a gentleman who frequented our Men’s Emergency Shelter for a short period of time. He was trying to get back on his feet and this offered him the best solution so he could find employment, then after saving some money venture out on his own. Soon enough, through an HPRP grant, we were able to assist him and help him in transitioning out of the shelter into permanent housing. Currently he holds down a full time job and maintains his own home so as a thank you, he decided to present us with a gift. He donated 50 bags of red mulch for our front entrance and 75 bags of straw colored mulch for our 2 children’s playgrounds. He said he chose the red “because he wanted it to stand out,” he wanted folks to notice The Salvation Army!
We are grateful for this beautification of our grounds and we believe it goes deeper than just a gift of mulch. The ground underneath had weathered a winter and the onslaught of weeds. The earth was dry and without color and life to it, yet when the red mulch covered it, the greens of the shrubs and trees stood out, seemed brighter and came to life. Because of the padding underneath, the weeds could no longer penetrate and affect the growth and appearance of the greenery we possessed. How true this is of our lives. We are covered by God and the sacrifice, the blood of Jesus that was shed for you, that was shed for me so that we too could shine, our true colors could be revealed. And the padding, the word of God is what can keep those weeds at bay so they don’t have the power to weave their way into our lives, preventing us from growing in our faith.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” ~ 1 John 1:7
And remember….this isn’t something offered to an exclusive group of folks, this is available to every single person on this earth. Jesus didn’t just carefully select a few individuals in which his sacrifice would cover only them. He did it for everybody, no matter what you’ve done, are doing or will do….the price was paid, you just need to be willing to accept the gift!