The Discarded Coat

During lockdown, people have been doing lots of jobs around the house and one of those has been sorting out clothes and giving as much away as possible to local charity shops. This reminded me of a true story I heard from some years ago.


There was a woman who was doing a spring clean of her clothes and she came across an old coat she used to wear years ago that was old, tatty, faded and had seen better days. She didn’t want it anymore and put it in a pile of things to bin.


Her son rummaged through the pile of things that were going to be thrown out and came across the old discarded coat. He picked it up, closely examined it and asked if he could have it. His mum was shocked that he would want such a tatty old coat but said he could indeed have it.


The boy could see the potential of the coat and wanted to take it and make it into something better. So along with a cut in half ping pong ball, he got to work and created something that has been known to the world since the late 1950’s. What he created has starred in many TV shows and films, had a number 1 hit single, won an Oscar and won the heart of an eccentric pig! It is of course, Kermit the Frog!


To his mum, the coat was battered, worn out, old and she wanted to throw it out. To Jim Henson, he saw it’s potential and how as he got to work on it, it could be used for something far greater.


And the story makes me think of God and how he can take our battered, bruised and sinful lives and transform them into something that is beautiful and something that can be used to change the world. Sometimes we fail to see ourselves as God sees us, and that can be for a number of reasons:


  • The negative things people have said about us that have stuck in our minds
  • Our past mistakes and regrets
  • Our age – we’re past it – the best years have already been and gone
  • We don’t feel good enough or worthy of God’s love or for him to use us.


The wonderful news is that God sees beyond our mistakes, our regrets, our age and our unworthiness, and sees the unique person he created us to be. The bible talks about him “knitting us together in our mother’s womb” and that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. God created us to know him, to be loved by him and to be used by him, irrespective of what other people have said about us or how we have made mistakes or whether we think we are passed it and have missed our opportunity.


Join with me today in praying that God would help us to see ourselves as he sees us. Ask him to begin to change the narrative that is going around in our minds and in its place put the truth that we are a new creation – created by God and we have a part of play in our world. Our part may not be going overseas, or singing at the front of church, it may be praying for others, encouraging others, showing others what Jesus is like or something else. All of these things are crucial and will bring in God’s kingdom and change lives.


Your life now has meaning, purpose and great potential. Don’t let anyone tell you differently and don’t believe the lies that fill your mind. You are loved, you are amazing and you can change the world!