"No grandma, that's the style now. They are supposed to be that way", I said.
"She probably can't afford any new trousers", she said.
"Rips are cool grandma. It's hard to explain", I said.
This conversation was a lost cause. It was a true, real-life example of an extreme generation gap.
Today, ripped jeans are fashionable.
In fact, the more rips, the merrier.
Now, they are even labeled "destroyed" on the tags.
Yes, that means they were manufactured to be torn up...on purpose,
And yes, that's identified as cool for many of us.
For my grandma, on the other hand, ...well in her eyes, it is not cool at all.
Instead, it's a public declaration of being homeless,
An automatic target for pity,
And an outward cry of total desperation,
All at once.
Still to this day, when I think about that conversation we had about my friend's jeans, I laugh every time.
It didn't matter what I said, she would never understand,
And you know what, this scenario reminds me a lot of life.
Yes, life. Very broadly but also very specifically.
Just like ripped jeans, life can also be very torn up.
It can seem destroyed actually.
It can appear to be falling apart.
Yet, somehow it is still put together.
Life? ..Put together?..
Yes, and sometimes it's hard to explain how it can possibly be restored to someone who doesn't understand how the pain could ever make sense.
Well, here's how.
God created us, knowing that we would be broken and torn.
Originally we were not manufactured to be that way, in the beginning,
But when sin entered the world, so did pain, brokenness, rips and tears.
Yet, God still managed to turn it all into something beautiful.
Jesus came to restore the brokenness of the world.
That doesn't mean that He made the mess just go away when He sacrificed Himself for us.
No, the world is still very torn and full of sin,
And yes, horrible things still happen everyday,
But Jesus made a way to see it all differently, from a new perspective.
He made it so that God would see His perfection, rather than our destruction.
He made it so that we could be restored and beautiful once again.
Just like a pair of wrecked jeans are still put together to form a nice outfit,
so our lives are just walking wrecks, still put together through Jesus to form beauty.
Those who don't know Jesus, won't get it at first,
Just like my grandma didn't understand the jeans.
Many will look around and view life as meaningless mess,
With ultimately no tangible source of hope, whether in life or death.
Until, one moment of truth, when they meet Jesus for themselves.
That one moment when they open their eyes to see that maybe it was meant to be that way,
And maybe it will make sense someday,
And maybe God has a bigger plan to restore humanity into something greater.
This involves reinventing the old plain law, and bringing something new and exciting,
Jesus read our tags. He knew we were destroyed,
But He saw that we were worth buying, even at the cost of His own life.
He proved that just because something is broken, doesn't mean it can't be made beautiful.
Even though our lives are ripped up, falling apart, complete messes, Jesus can restore them still and call them worthy of loving,
Worthy of using for a greater purpose.
Without Jesus we are just a pair of ripped up jeans, with with a baggy old stained T-shirt, crocs, and a cowboy hat.
It just doesn't work.
With Jesus we are a pair of ripped jeans with a trendy top, perfectly rugged boots, and sweet shades.
It's a match made in heaven and in the end it's all put together, just right.
The big picture is the full story, the full outfit, not just the torn up parts,
But something about the tears adds to the story anyway and it wouldn't end up the same without them there.
After all is said and done, a life with Jesus, including the brokenness and all, will end up beautiful.
It will end in eternal life and everlasting glory.
So what will you do?
Will you let your life be paired with the hope of Jesus?
Or will you pair it with a world of hopelessness?
If you don't know anything about Jesus, you are probably reading this and responding a lot like my grandma did.
It's hard to grasp how everything is coming together to form one big story of restoration.
In all actuality, I didn't grasp it as well either until last week.
Before last week, I had a few rips here and there in my life,
A few little mishaps,
But last week, I acquired a gaping hole in the right knee.
I experienced the most brokenness I've ever felt.
Everything I thought was good in my life, fell apart.
I labeled it as finally hitting rock bottom.
I was at the lowest point I'd ever been in,
But of course, here I am writing this blog, with the hole still there,
And I'm here to tell you that just because it's there, doesn't mean I have to give up hope and throw my life away.
As a matter of fact, I've also experienced more hope this week than I've ever had,
Hope in Jesus.
Hope that this hole is here for a reason and that it will be made beautiful in it's time,
Because that's just what Jesus does, because He is good.
There is a good plan for all of us, despite the hardships and trials.
This is how we can still have joy, even when we can't see why hard times are happening.
In desperation we also learn a lot about what or who we are depending on.
Now I can say I have surrendered what I was holding on to and,
All I want is Jesus,
All I need is Jesus,
Every second of every hour of every day.
I want to pray to Him, sing to Him, and live intentionally for Him every day that I'm alive,
And when my life is at it's end, I'll look back on this time and I'll say two things.
For one, I'll say "What in the world was I thinking wearing jeans with holes in them, that was seriously the strangest trend this world has ever created".
Two, I'll say "Wow I thought my life was messed up when I was 21, but you should see it now, it's literally torn up to shreds. One thing hasn't changed though, and that is the fact that Jesus was there through every single tear and He's the One who brought me through it all."
To my defense, writing an analogy comparing the gospel to a pair of jeans, isn't the easiest thing to explain.
So cut me some slack here,
But hopefully it made some sense and you weren't blankly staring the whole time like my grandma did during our conversation.
Instead, I just hope you'll remember Jesus throughout your day and never forget the gospel.
It's crazy how even the most simple things can remind us of Him, when we choose to see the world that way.
Even an old, tore up pair of super cool, trendy, washed out jeans can be beautiful.