On the side of highway five just about a hundred yards off the road sits an old red barn. Day after day, travelers don’t seem to notice this old red barn, as driving by has become part of their daily routine.
But if this was your first time to drive highway five, in the rolling hills of Kentucky, you’d be sure to take a gander at this barn, as it represents the deep heritage of the Kentucky foot hills.
Today, the barn is riddled with bullet holes and the wooden planks that encase the barn are showing signs of being weathered after surviving decades of summer heat and winter frosts. The roof is hardly a roof anymore, and the red, that once so majestically cloaked the barn, has faded away.
This barn began to leave its impression on the Kentucky landscape 75 years ago as an old farmer took the utmost care to construct this barn with his bare hands.
With every swing of the hammer, and stroke of the paint brush, the beauty of his imagination came to life, and soon birthed his prized possession, his one and only red barn.
Throughout the years, this barn began to embed itself in the minds and the hearts of those traveling on highway five. The barn is not great in and of itself, but its unwavering consistency of being on the side of the highway day after day brings about a sense of normalcy to a fast paced life style.
This barn has many memories behind it, as it has done its share of work over the years. It has housed many bales of hay, a number of horses and cattle have resided within its protective shell, and on an occasion or two, it has even had the privilege of taking care of the people around it, who were seeking shelter in the midst of a storm.
But today, as you drive down highway five, the weathered red barn shows more signs of neglect than the tlc it once received in the hands of its maker. Its rough shape is a constant reminder to the locals that this barn has seen better days and will soon have to go.
And when it does, the skyline of this meandering highway will be changed forever. The travelers will recognize its lack of existence. Some will pay tribute by reminiscing over the memories they had with this barn throughout their childhood years. Some parents will share stories with their kids about how there used to be a barn just a stone throw off the highway, and what that barn meant to them. Others will keep on driving, without seeing a need to consider the red barn anymore, but if they are honest with themselves, they will miss seeing this landmark that has stamped the countryside and their minds forever.
For now, the red barn on highway five survives another day, reinforcing into the minds and the hearts of those who drive by it daily the beauty of the Kentucky countryside and one farmer’s determination to make his living off this land.
We are much like this red barn. We have been knit together by the careful hands of our Creator. Every part of us is designed with purpose in mind.
Yet as the years wear on, we become riddled with the pains and trials of this life. Our bodies show fatigue and our minds slowly fade away. Yet, we stand with purpose; leaving a legacy behind that can radically change the lives of those around us.
Many of us will live our lives quietly behind the scenes, having the chance to allow our relationship with Christ to ooze through the bullet holes of our wounds, while never knowing who is quietly watching our steadfastness during the storms. We may never know who chooses to draw near to us because they feel safe around us, not because of who we are, but because of the strength of Christ living through us. If you know Jesus Christ, then your bullet holes, your pain, your wounds in life have purpose in building the legacy of Christ through you. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, the pain and trials you suffer daily have no purpose except to reveal your need for a Sovereign God who can put purpose in your wounds.
Yet, a day will come, when we will be adopted fully by the Father and leave nothing behind except the memory of who we were. If Christ lives in you, then you have a legacy that will withstand eternity because it is founded in a God who is eternal.