FROM DISCARDED TO DISPLAYED
It’s amazing how God can take insignificant things, many of which have been discarded, and display them for positive results! God does that with people and places.
My office is a good example. Mike Henig is the chairman of my non-profit board. Mike has a beautiful building which is the home office for Henig Furs. On each side of the home office, he has built commercial office buildings. I had an office in one of those buildings for eleven years until Mike sold the entire building two years ago.
His other office building is partially occupied by a large accounting firm, Bern, Butler, Capilouto, & Massey P.C. They have about 30 employees. Accounting firms have to have strict security.
On the main floor, there is an area across the hall with two offices, a waiting area, and a training room. Since security was an issue, the offices and waiting area were never used. For 15 years, the area became storage for old files, junk, and other things that were being discarded.
Mike told me that if we could work with the accounting firm to clean out the offices, I could use them. The firm has been super helpful in doing that. We cleaned them out, and my wife, Lynn, came and decorated them. I now have one of the finest office areas in the whole city! The area has gone from a place for the discarded to a place proud to be displayed!
The accounting firm also allows me to use their training room, which accommodates about 50 people, for meetings with pastors. Pastors prefer not to go to another pastor’s church for a meeting, so this is a “safe place” to come. We have had some powerful meetings with leading pastors in the area, both black and white, and developed strategies for improving race relations.
Another great example is Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. My friend, Tim Gayle, has written a fascinating and interesting book, Cramton Bowl, about its history. In 1921, the area of Cramton Bowl was a garbage dump, but creative people turned that garbage dump into a wonderful stadium for baseball and football. In the early half of the twentieth century, Cramton Bowl was one of the premier venues for sporting events. The old garbage dump became a great stadium–from the discarded to the displayed!
I serve on the River Region Sports Commission. A new multiplex building was constructed as a part of the Cramton Bowl complex. It needed to be named. It is a huge venue where you can play multiple basketball games and volleyball games at one time. It is a square building. As you know, it is located on Madison Avenue. I thought I had the best idea for a name for it. If we could plant a little shrubbery around the side, a great name for it would be, “Montgomery’s Madison Square Garden.” Obviously, my name wasn’t selected.
The Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, and other major league baseball teams would stop in Montgomery and play games following spring training. One game was played at Cramton Bowl, and there were nine future Hall-of-Famers on the field! It was the site for the first football game and the second pro baseball game under the lights in the South–from a garbage dump to a great sporting venue.
God delights in turning the discarded into the displayed!