This was one of those mornings, the kind where you lay in bed hearing strange sounds and you wonder if you’re awake or dreaming.
Hispanic music blares from the clouds, then voices.
How’s it going?
A vague recollection from high school Spanish, and the rest is gibberish. Men holler back and forth in Spanish from somewhere above me. Am I sleeping? Am I dead? Maybe I’d landed wrongly in heaven far from my family. “Excuse me, God, but this might as well be the Tower of Babel. Please open my ears to understand, or replant me with my English ancestors, even the German ones, I can understand some German.”
I opened my eyes. My cat lay next to me on the bed. I stroked his fur. Yup, he was real all right, and so were those sounds. I dragged myself, half asleep, to the window.
There it was. Mystery solved. My neighbors were having their roof re-shingled. Several tan, sweaty, shirtless men stood on top, scraping and shoveling the old shingles right down to the bare wood.
If you think about it, God does that, too. He peels off worn layers of a person’s character and replaces them with something better. When God peels back all the layers and gets down to bare wood, it’s called being “born again.” He gets right to the heart of things, literally, by giving a person a new heart, a new character, one in which Christ is at the center of everything.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
A new roof is a good thing. It protects us from foul weather. But a new heart, a heart for Jesus, that’s a wonderful thing, and it’s all the protection we need.