100 Abandoned Houses…a photography exhibit put together by photographer Kevin Bauman. The project started out a few years ago when he traveled through the housing districts of Detroit and noticed a large number of abandoned houses. Bauman says, “I had always found it to be amazing, depressing, and perplexing that a once great city could find itself in such great distress, all the while surrounded by such affluence.” Kevin goes on to say, “As the number of images grew, and a documentary style emerged, I switched from mostly black and white, to color, and decided to name the series 100 Abandoned Houses. 100 seemed like a lot, although the number of abandoned houses in Detroit is more like 12,000. Encompassing an area of over 138 square miles, Detroit has enough room to hold the land mass of San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan Island, yet the population has fallen from close to 2 million citizens, to most likely less than 800,000. With such a dramatic decline, the abandoned house problem is not likely to go away any time soon.”
Your heart may be like those houses in Detroit. Maybe you’ve abandoned your faith in the rooms of your heart where you once had it. You might even have good reasons for running out and leaving everything behind. Maybe you grew up on a home embattled by divorce and really lost both parents in some ways. Maybe someone you thought would be healed by God wasn’t. Maybe you were hurt by church leadership. Maybe you got fired from your dream job. Maybe you took a risk that went south. Maybe you were dumped by someone who you thought loved you. Maybe you accepted Jesus as your Savior and the circumstances in your life got worse. Everyone has the freedom to abandon God and may even have a good case as to “why” you did it.
Can you imagine what the city of Detroit would look like if those 12,000 homes were refurbished, restored and rebuilt? For some, it just may take a fresh coat of paint. For some replacing all the windows. For others, it may mean knocking it all down and starting from the ground up. Whatever the case, the city would GLOW with HOPE, right? And, so can your life. Allow God to come in through the personal relationship you have with him to…restore your heart. Instead of turning away in your doubts, all it takes is a willingness to turn and look at the damage and…believe. Believe that God can take whatever it is that caused you to abandon your hope and restore it again.
WORD: “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV
DIG DEEPER: To see the entire series, or to purchase prints from the series, please go to: www.100abandonedhouses.com. As you look at the the pictures, find one that represents your heart. Pray for God to help restore ares of your faith that have shifted or crumbled. Write down these areas in a journal and be willing to be open to see God rebuilt them again. Talk with someone about them and be willing to ask for help to dream again. Try to see what is unseen in your heart right now.