Guest Blogger... Thanks Lynn Bryant!!!
God Doesn't Make Junk!
“Where did you get these dishes?” my husband asked. “They’re ugly and they are so heavy I don’t like to use them!” I agreed. They weren’t very pretty. My older sister received the set when she married in 1969. After she divorced and moved to a hurricane-prone territory, she asked my mother to store them for her in an outside shed. When Mama died, the dishes ended up in my brother’s basement. My brother and his wife didn’t like them either, so when my sister passed away a few years later, they gave the entire twelve-place setting to me. Due to their sentimental value, I used the dishes as everyday ware for a time, but I soon grew weary of them too. I told myself they were “just dishes” after all, so I decided to box them up and give them away to anyone who could use them.
I told a friend about my plan, and she suggested I check on E-Bay first to see if the dishes had any real value? I did so, and much to my surprise, they had great value. The set is worth over $1,500! Each piece of the stoneware was handcrafted by one of three artists and fired in such a way that no two pieces turned out exactly the same, making each piece an original. The company that produced the dishes closed over 20 years ago, and the stoneware has since become a collector’s item!
So, for three years, I used vintage, collector’s items as everyday ware! Because I didn’t know the value, a few pieces are now chipped or missing. I hate to admit it, but my husband even brought two bowls in from outside that we had used to feed our cats! Subsequently, I decided it might be good to check the value of my mother’s fine china that was prominently displayed in our china cabinet. My mother had cherished the set for years and passed it on to me as a family heirloom. Much to my dismay, my mother’s china, although finer and much more beautiful, was valued at less than a fourth of my sister’s dishes! How could I not have known?
As I pondered this series of events, the Holy Spirit began to show me parallel truths. We often judge someone to be worthy of consideration due to their physical appearance or compatibility to us personally, while others seem less valuable, or maybe even dispensable, because they don’t measure up to our expectations or the opinions of others. We rarely stop to consider the underlying value determined by the uniqueness of a thing in relationship to its creator. Like my sister’s dishes, we are all unique creations of a well-known artist! While that fact may not be fully appreciated by others, leaving us feeling chipped around the edges or even missing pieces of our hearts at times, the reality is that true value—ours or someone else’s—is never really determined by us! We need God’s perspective to know what is truly valuable! Is there someone or something in your life today whose value is far greater than you might have previously imagined? Maybe we all should check with “Heaven’s E-Bay” to discover if we have unknowingly been treating some of our Father’s treasure like earth’s junk?
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b