Building Cathedrals From Sewer Tanks

I love Amazing Spaces. It’s excellent TV.

Each episode follows people with ideas for building projects. Some are from scratch; the best projects transform something that already existed.

Building something from nothing is amazing, but making something beautiful from something ugly feels extraordinary.

The worse the starting point, the better.

I have watched dirty toilet blocks become family homes; rotting buses become glamourous campervans. My favourite was an underground sewer tank remade into a restful hideaway.

Future Vision

These projects are great because of the people’s vision. When George Clarke meets them standing next to a heap of rubbish, it’s clear they see something that we don’t.

In their mind, it’s already beautiful. So they’re ready to get going with the transformation process, until the day it’s finished.

That’s when we see what they saw.

God’s Vision

The Bible says that we’re like these projects. We’re in poor state at the start – unrighteous, avoiding God, not doing good (Romans 3:10-12).

We’re so broken and sinful that God’s choosing to transform us shows just how gracious and kind he is (Ephesians 2:7).

Like the people choosing damaged buildings to showcase their power and vision, God takes humans and makes them totally new people, which shows us his.  

God’s Joy

There’s something else I love. If the programme were simply a demonstration of people’s skill, it would just be an arrogant display of ability.

But they do it because they love to. Just like God (Ephesians 1:5). For him, our transformation isn’t just a power thing. It’s a joy thing.

Our transformation showcases the character of a praiseworthy God who loves to make things new.

And the aim?

That those around us would say, as George does in my favourite episode, “He’s turned a sewage tank into a cathedral.”