On one of my trips to the grocery store I passed by a bin that caught my eye. It was labeled “Damaged Goods.” It was filled with dented cans and missing labels…no real rhyme or reason, just random items that were not shelf worthy. And suddenly, I knew just how they felt.
Life sometimes delivers the unexpected. Trials that we go through bruise us, dent us and remove the label that defines who we are. We feel as if we have been tossed into a bin, no longer worthy of a place on the shelf. Some people believe the lie that they are no longer worthy and all hope is gone.
So, I leaned over and intentionally chose a dented can with no label from the bin. I got it home and placed it on the can opener with anxious anticipation. Peaches!!! I let out a school girl squeal! I love peaches!! What a treat to open this can and be greeted by one of my favorite fruits. The can was damaged but the contents were still good…and sweet.
God must have smiled…because at that moment the sunshine beamed in my kitchen window. I knew in my heart there was a lesson.
I have been damaged. We all have to some degree. I am not living the life that I dreamed about when I was a girl. However, the damage that I have suffered has made the contents of my heart so much sweeter, so much more compassionate, so much more in pursuit of Jesus. I have been looked down upon and judged by many who have seen my label missing and slapped on their own.
I’ve wanted to say, “Don’t judge too quickly. My damage has not defined me…but, it is refining me.” I may sometimes be at the bottom of the life’s bin, but Jesus paid as high a price for those of us at the bottom as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf.
Look around. Is there someone in your life, your family or your church that you consider “damaged goods”? Don’t miss an opportunity to reach out to them, to love them. You just might find a friendship that is good…and sweet.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17