Friday, September 16, 2011

The Goodness Underneath

Have you ever looked at something
then quickly decided its worth?
 
Today I got to try something new;
when my elderly neighbor
asked for help to remove a large vine.
I was happy to do so.
 
Yet as I worked
to cut the green tangled mass from the fence
I realized something incredible:
underneath the leaves were green-beans!
 Beautiful and ripe, ready to pick and eat.
(By the way, I love green-beans!
And this is the first time
I have hand-picked them from a vine.)
 
But what I realized was that my neighbor
could only see the massive vine
as a burden to the fence
and an eyesore to look at.
She couldn’t see underneath
to the wholesome goodness
of the “fruit-of-the-vine”!

When the other neighbor came over
to investigate my malicious intent
I expressed my incredible surprise.
His small back-yard garden
had produced a magnificant crop,
so much that he was glad to see
someone else enjoy the results produced.

And here is what I thought of
as I picked the beans for my family:
How often do we dismiss
those we come across
simply because the view is unsightly?

God created all human beings
and each one has significant value
even if we cannot see it up close.

When the homeless person who smells
comes to your church for prayer
can you look past their current situation
to the beloved ‘child’ underneath?

I am far from perfect in this area
but I am hoping that this will change
so that if nothing more
I can sit with them and listen,
tell them how valuable they are to God,
and pray with them for strength,
in whatever they are facing.

And this goes for all people;
the family member who comes home angry,
the salesman who knocks on the door at dinner,
the janitor who everyone avoids.

Do we look hard enough
to the person underneath?

Perhaps it is time we stop
and look deeper into the person
that God created underneath
all the dirt and pain we witness
to instead encourage and lift up
as Jesus Himself would do.

Can you see the goodness underneath
in the people you encounter?

 

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