Walking around our huge garage and warehouse area at JPUSA I found a few old beaten-up pieces of wood… just what I needed!See, Wendi bought a “flying cardinal” bird thingee with wings and strings at a yard sale. I hadn’t seen one of these for many years, just the sort of thing you’d see in someone’s yard out in the country in Wisconsin where I grew up.The wings flap when the wind is high enough. You hang ’em in trees, below a line or under a pole in gardens and such. Nice little decoration for Cornerstone Farm for us and a few friends… and makes a cool little Christmas gift for those who like such a thing.But to look at these bits of wood right now… nada! Holes, here and there, a few nails to be pulled. No paint or a bit of dull paint, chiped here and there, a few cracks.What I see in this stuff are 3 or so of these cool birds.I love cardinals. They happen to be at Cstone Farm, and in fact are the state bird of Illinois. Bright screeming red. Shy but just beautiful creatures that again remind me of God, His love and even Jesus’ blood that makes us whole. What an imagination God has to create such incredible creatures!So I don’t see crummy pieces of junk wood- I have a vision of what they can be, and even given as gifts to a few folks who I know will appreciate and enjoy them.I have my tools, string, eyelets and wood all ready to go. I have a pattern from the “yard sale bird” and tomorrow I’ll begin tracing, cutting, sanding, gluing and painting. This is going to be fun…Dear reader: God sees us- some of us quite banged-up, with cracks, dust and dirt, maybe somewhat warped… and He sees what we can and will be in His timing if we will let Him put His hands on us and do the carving, shaping and sanding. When He’s finished we will be a full-on masterpiece! That’s the Greek word Paul uses that’s often translated “workmanship” in Ephesians. A better translation into English is “masterpiece”.Meanwhile, we don’t always feel, look or act like mature, finished material. Sort of like very used, rough 1/4 inch plywood that one has to have a heart and eyes with vision to see anything good or potentially beautiful in.May God give us His eyes for ourselves- and those around us. Certainly, the best gift is Jesus and the love of God He brought and brings. His was and is the most special birth in the whole history of the human race. God came down as a human being.Christmas is a time to celebrate Him, love and family. It’s a time for gifts. Perhaps the best gift to God is yourself.Give… and keep your eyes open. You have no idea what a wonderful gift you can become to Him and others via His loving hands.It’s no exaggeration to say a huge part of His work is about transformation.