When was the last time you saw someone use a bandana. I mean really use it. You know; blow their nose, wipe the sweat. Bandanas were originally used as a head covering for peasant women. Through the years, the purpose of bandanas has changed. Farmers and cowboys wore them around their necks to wipe the sweat off their faces and keep the dust out of their collars. Wildland firefighters would wear them over the mouth and nose to lessen inhalation of dust and fumes. Dancers and other athletes have been known to wear them during practice as a simple way of keeping hair and sweat out of their faces. Even some soldiers would wear bandanas to keep their own sweat and blood out of their eyes. Then there are the criminal gangs, such as the Bloods and the Crips that wear particular colored bandanas as a means of communication or identification. There are also sexual subcultures that use bandanas for specific purposes of identification.
Bandanas were created for a purpose, but that purpose has changed as people have found other uses for them. I don’t know who the creator of the bandana was, but I wonder what he or she would think of how they have been used for the good, the bad and the ugly through out the years.
I have a friend who has found a new purpose for the bandana. He has purchased probably hundreds of bandanas of various colors and sewed them together to transform them into bags. These bags can be used as purses, messenger bags, laptop bags or back packs. Some bags are of one color while others are of many colors. He has started quite a fashion trend among his high school friends.
I was recently on a walk and thinking about some of the deep questions of life. How many times have you, or someone you know, ask questions such as, “Why would a loving God let bad things happen to good people? Why would God only provide one way to heaven? Why would God bless some people groups, while other groups suffer with poverty and disease? Why do Christians feel they are the only ones with all the right answers?”
All these questions are deep and almost impossible to answer in one sentence or less. But my friend’s bandana bags really help me form the only answer that gives me peace. The answer is that God created us and redeemed us and that’s all I need to know. As creator, He has the final say on all the questions we ask. You see, God created us for a purpose. Just like the creator created bandanas for a purpose, to be a head covering. But through the years, we the creation, have found other purposes; some good, some bad, and some disgusting. But then Jesus, the Son of the Creator, came and purchased us (or redeemed us) by going to the cross on our behalf. When He redeemed us, he gave us a new purpose. Our purpose is to glorify the Creator and to be useful in His kingdom. It’s just like my friend who purchased those bandanas and brought them together to find a new, meaningful purpose.
What I really like about this analogy is how my friend uses all the different colors of bandanas to make a colorful bag. The world is filled with many colorful cultures and races of people. God was so creative when he created us so diversely. Then His Son takes our diversity and he brings us together for His glory. He doesn’t wipe away our diversity or our culture, but He does bring us together in harmony so we can join together in glorifying the one who created us.
God is our Creator. He can do with us what he wants. Who are we to try and tell him what we want. But we have been doing that for centuries. I’m so grateful that my Creator hasn’t just wiped me out in my rebellion. Instead He redeemed me and made me a new creation.