One Man’s Trash…
When we were younger, my sister and I would get a special gift at Christmas that was just from my dad. It was a gift that he went out and shopped for without my mom’s help, and the fact that it was his own thought and effort always made those gifts extra special to me. My dad, who is the consummate man’s man, only had daughters. No hunting buddies. No one to toss the ball with. No one willing to put a worm on a hook or sleep in a tent. He had fathered two of the girliest girls you will likely ever meet. And despite never having a boy to carry on his name, I always felt loved, valued and esteemed by my dad. One of the ways he would express that was with those special Christmas presents.
One year he gave us jewelry boxes that had a beautiful cameo silhouette on the lid. My sisters was slightly different than mine in the shape, color and song that it played. Mine was a beautiful heart shaped, silver and Wedgewood blue box that played the song “You Light Up My Life” (if you weren’t around in the 70’s, then google the song… its lovely!)
To this day I still love that little jewelry box. Oh yes, I still have it. It’s tucked away with some other mementos that only I know the meaning of and that only I would consider a treasure. The sad truth is that when I was a little girl I did not take very good care of it. The silver is badly tarnished, one of the legs is broken off and it’s a bit scratched. To anyone else it would be considered trash given the condition it’s in. Most people would look at its imperfections and decide it is no longer a valuable item. But you know what they say… one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That precious gift is just as valuable to me now, in its less than perfect state, as it was on the day my dad gave it to me, all shiny and perfectly new.
Jesus sees us just the same way. He looks at us and sees all of our broken pieces, our scratched up lives and tarnished hearts. And in full view of all our weakness and inadequacies he sees a treasure. He never ever detracts from our value because of our imperfections.
This truth is so stunning to me. Stunning because a God who is perfectly holy and utterly pure and completely righteous would value and treasure me. Me, in all my un-holiness, impurity and unrighteousness. With all of my “dings” and “scratches”. I am stunned that not only would he would tolerate me, but that He loves me so much that He would send His son to this earth, born in a manger and under the shadow of the cross. All so He can have save our sin and fellowship with us. He doesn’t need us. Yet He wants us. What kind of love is this? It is indescribable. It is incomprehensible. It is stunning.
This is how we know God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
This is love:
Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10