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The Abandoned Sky Scraper

The building near the edge of downtown caught my eye the first time I saw it. It stood tall and narrow like the skyscrapers pictured in old books. Of course, it only stood ten stories tall. It didn’t really count as a skyscraper beside the city’s newer fifty-story buildings. It was very visibly old and decaying. A tree had sprouted and grown from a small roof on the side of the main tower. At first, the weathering letters on its side seemed to spell "Joy Tower." A closer look showed that this was the Ivy Tower. It looked like an abandoned building on that day twelve years ago.

Abandoned buildings have appealed to me since childhood. As a boy, I studied empty, weathered farmhouses as my parents’ car hurried by. Something about those lonely dead buildings called to me. I dreamed of one day restoring such a house for my home.

I’d dreamed about inexpensive farm buildings. The Ivy Tower had been a very expensive city building. Later, a man on a bus called it one of the city’s early skyscrapers. It had been a fine place in its day. Now it stood empty. Its glory had faded. The pride that had carved a name on its side had moved on with the calendar. A piece of history sat dying as a city grew and changed. Now it was just another empty building with stories its unlit windows couldn’t tell. It had become a place for dust and mice.

A few years later, I came back to the city for a day with friends. Things were happening to my abandoned skyscraper. Somebody else apparently shared the idea of fixing hopeless old buildings. Only this person had money. A banner announced a restoration project. A sad piece of crumbling pride was getting a second chance.

One recent evening, I turned to the internet to learn what had happened to "my" empty skyscraper. Only "my" building isn’t empty anymore. It has been restored and expanded. A new hotel and apartment complex rises far above the historic Ivy Tower. The additions dwarf the old building, but the Ivy Tower still stands attached to the new buildings. The abandoned tower is now a luxurious living place. Dust and mice won’t be welcome anymore.

I can appreciate these changes for more reasons than architecture. Somebody restored me. Jesus came into my sinful, spiritually empty life. He forgave my sins, gave me a new nature, and made me a place for God to live. Like the people who restored the Ivy Tower, He didn’t just renew my old self. He joined Himself to me, and He reaches beyond the sky to Heaven. Yes, I’m still me, just as the old building snuggles against the new skyscraper. I’m thoroughly dwarfed, but loved, valued, and restored.

It may not happen in my lifetime, but the Ivy Tower will stand empty again. Time or a wrecker’s ball will fall the very old building. Such is the way of all the earth. But my saved soul doesn’t look for that kind of end. I have more than a second chance in life. The Savior who towers so far above has given me everlasting life. I’ll take that—and the home that goes with it—over the best earthly restoration mankind can do.

This work is in the pubic domain and may be copied and distributed freely.


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