Recently, I attended a garage sale, and discovered among the odds and ends on a table a burgundy colored ceramic bowl. It had seen better days and, apparently, had not been particularly valued. It was pretty worn and tired-looking, but I liked it and it was only seventy-five cents, so I took it home.
The bowl needed a good scrubbing and some persistent treatment with a Brillo pad to remove the scars of its past and to restore it to the richness of its good life. After some patient and loving treatment and a few trips through the dishwasher, that lovely bowl now holds vegetables or a salad on the dinner table. The evidence of its previous use is completely gone. It is once more appreciated, treasured, and useful. I liked it when I first saw it at that yard sale, and I like it even more now that it is cleaned-up and useful.
Perhaps part of the reason I like that worn ceramic bowl so much is because I see some commonalities between it and myself. When God found me, I was one among a sea of worn and used up individuals. Yet, He saw through the scars of my past to my real worth, and what I could become with a little polishing up. The day I was saved, He washed me clean in His own precious Blood—and that was a thorough cleansing! Then He began to patiently, but persistently, remove the roughness and stains of my past and make my life into something beautiful. Because of the love and care He showed me, this “vessel” can now be used for His good work.
No matter how tattered and ruined a life may seem to be, Jesus sees the potential in that individual. He sees what that person could become with a little work and a lot of love. As we remember and thank God for how far He has brought us, let us also keep in mind those who are still in a worn condition. May God help us to see their potential as well, and reach out to them on His behalf.