He Buys Ugly Houses!

I am blessed to live in a beautiful master-planned community, nestled in a suburb of Houston, TX called Sugar Land. Shaded by clusters of towering pecan, oak and elm trees, residences in our subdivision are reminiscent of those charming cottages and farmhouses of old, their facades adorned with a patchwork of brick, stone and wood. Structures sit atop perfectly manicured yards, where grasses enjoy weekly military cuts and stand ever-proudly at attention. Garden beds, bursting forth with colorfully blooming bushes and flowers, hug home exteriors and their precious porches. Lovely and welcoming, houses here beckon visitors to “Come in and stay awhile!” It’s all very Southern, really.

It’s been said that there are exceptions to every rule, and one of those is located just down the street from me. Some would term it a “fixer-upper.” The house appears to be unoccupied, once again, for the garage door never rises, the driveway is unpopulated, and lights remain in the “off” position. The grass grows tall and unconstrained, and weeds stand in substitute for hedges. With paint peeling from the shutters to which it once tightly clung and mini-blinds firmly closed and askew, the unsightly house does not say “Welcome!” but instead screams, “Do not enter!” I once heard a neighbor suggest that this house would be the perfect candidate for “WE BUY UGLY HOUSES!” a business that will purchase your “fixer-upper” with cash, then renovate it so that a new buyer can comfortably dwell there.

Much like one of those beautiful Sugar Land homes, I’ve always endeavored to be a lovely and welcoming presence in the world. When I was younger, that involved taking great care to present to the public only the best of myself, it being clear that society tends to gauge one’s value and worth based primarily upon outward appearances. I spent irretrievable time and energy obsessing about how I looked and was perceived by others. Sadly, I felt neither lovely nor welcoming, only inadequate. It took me years to grasp this life-altering truth: God, the Architect and Builder of my life and the One whose opinion should matter most, cares little about my outward appearance. He is infinitely more concerned about the condition of my heart, because it is there He wishes to dwell. Unfortunately, a lifetime of self-loathing, sin and shame meant that my heart was no longer habitable, especially for One of such noble standing. It was, rather, a veritable “fixer upper” - a truly ugly house! But then I was reminded of this very Good News: HE BUYS UGLY HOUSES!

Photo by Robbie Down on Unsplash
It’s true - JESUS BUYS UGLY HOUSES! Long ago and far away, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, purchased our ugly homes with His own precious blood, shed on a cross. He paid a painfully high price for each one of our “fixer-uppers” and, in return, asks only that we bid Him entrance into our hearts. Once inside, He can begin the work of renovating and transforming our once unsightly habitats into pristine temples - places where even a holy King can comfortably dwell! If you’ve not already done so, won’t you open your door and invite Jesus Christ to come in and stay awhile? You’ll be happy you did because, through Him, you'll become and forever be a lovely and welcoming addition to His glorious neighborhood!

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

-1 John 4:15

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your bodies.

-1 Corinthians 6:19-20