Minor Scratches and Obvious Dents

I saw a rusty, older-model minivan today that had a very obvious and substantial dent along one side of its body. As I whispered a prayer hoping no one had gotten injured in the accident, I wondered if the van’s owners were intending to get the crumbled metal fixed or just planning to leave it.

Our society (and the continuous ads on TV!) seems to place great value on the ownership of the latest and greatest new car model. Perhaps there is even an unspoken stigma that our vehicles are a reflection of ourselves. After all, most of us get a little embarrassed about our auto mishaps and quickly hurry to get our vehicles repaired when there is obvious evidence of our mistakes.

All of us who travel through this life unquestionably encounter bumps and collisions along the way – some families more than others. And while many of life’s fender-benders may leave little more than a marginal scrape or a petty ding on our reputation, other catastrophes leave obvious, ghastly marks that even the best auto repair shops could never buff out.

What about you? Do others see you with a little rust and a few minor scratches, or do you have major dents and gaping damage that cannot be disguised, hidden, or forgotten about?

It can be difficult to travel throughout the community – in our workplaces, at our churches, within our circle of friends and extended families – while also bearing an experience as blatant as suicide. Yet, God knows our suffering and any haunting struggle with shame and disgrace. He understands that our human nature craves an outstanding reputation, yet we cannot erase our loved one’s choices. Ultimately, we are called to live our best for our Master – not to care what the world thinks of us.

I Samuel 16:7b “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.

People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

As a mom who drives a van that is clearly showing its age, the rust on the outside of my vehicle reminds me that having a strong, dependable engine is what really counts. Let’s focus more on our destination and less on the vehicle that gets us there. Let’s determine to remember that our life experiences do not define us, but our relationship with Christ always will.


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