Have you ever donated your clothes to a charity? Maybe you had some things lying around the house you just wanted to get rid of–after all, how long can you keep telling yourself that one day you’ll fit in some of the clothes you had in high school? So you decided to take them down to your local thrift store or something similar.
Most people around the world have done this. Very often, though, the charities they donate these clothes to can’t keep them all, so they end up shipping them abroad. One place that manages to take in a lot of clothes is the port city of Iquique, Chile. When the clothes arrive, textiles traders will often buy them. What isn’t bought will either go to another country or be dumped in the Atacama Desert. Many of the clothes seem useless or used, but every once in a while, some clothes in the desert still have price tags on them! It’s an incredible sight to behold: clothes of all shapes and sizes littering the desert as poor people pick through them.
Now, when you look at people, what do you see? That person whose life is a complete wreck because of sin, or that young man or woman who seems to have an aimless existence destined for an eternity without God? Just like those clothes, they may seem worthless, and in the world’s eyes, once it has had its way with them, they often are. But, when looked at more closely, the price tag of their soul is visible. Jesus paid with his own life’s blood for their salvation, and even though they may seem like refuse now, once Jesus finds them, there’s no telling what great purpose they can serve in His kingdom.
Today, as you go about your business, you will undoubtedly meet someone like this. Perhaps Jesus needs you to be His eyes and ears, sifting through the rubbish and finding the treasure that lies there. Perhaps He wants you to be the one that gives that person the blessed news of eternal life in Him.
Once a year, those huge piles of clothes are burned in the desert. Oftentimes, a pair of pants or a shirt may be pulled from that pile right before the burning takes place. That item of clothing that could’ve been burned to ash is now being used for a wonderful purpose.
I think the analogy speaks for itself.