5/13/2016

The Jackhammer

The kindness of strangers is like a rare jewel hidden in the darkness and crags under a mountain. Was there ever a time that it glistened on the open ground like a sunstone? But even then it could have been mistaken for broken glass or some other piece of trash.

Today a man bumped into my eight-year-old girl with his cart and didn't apologize. She nearly cried when she saw the look of complete disregard on his face. In her sweet and innocent world, anyone who hurts another person should apologize, even if it was an accident. But as my child held her elbow I saw her face harden a little. I asked her, "Are you ok?" and she just said, "Yeah, I just felt scared." It was heartbreaking to see the anger in her fear. She carries around so much guilt and anxiety because of reasons I can't say. Also, because of her perfectionist tendencies and her intense sensitivities she is in danger of caving in on herself. I fight alongside her in this battle for her sense of worth every chance I get. But it feels kind of hopeless in a world that doesn't seem to value children.

Dear daughter, I'm sorry that people trample diamonds into the mud and toss precious gold onto the waste pile. Pearls beneath the feet of filthy swine, I tell ya. They only seek to devour the giver and are blind to the value of the gift. I'm sorry, sweetheart. I'm sorry for them. They don't see you because they can't see beauty. Don't be afraid of them, be sad for them. To their darkened minds a sunset is merely a backdrop for their personal agenda. Your interference in their day is like a work of art that is keeping a road from being built. They will destroy it for the sake of advancing their tiny kingdom. Pity them because they won't stop. Their hired jackhammer would cut into the golden streets of Heaven itself if they were allowed in.

I wish I could stand outside their circle long enough to judge them a little more. But I quickly find myself among them when I remember where I came from. Once upon a time I was a trampled treasure. But I did my share of pounding beauty into the ground with all I learned from my devourers. Fortunately for others, it was mostly my own beauty that I wasted and exploited. I was a temple prostitute for the idol of human approval. It wasn't long before I was blind to all beauty, especially my own. Then Jesus opened my eyes and like a baby I thought all beauty was for me and about me. As I matured in the spirit I realized what I'd squandered. Many years would pass before I'd be ready to face the loss. Denial would keep me cushioned in a special ignorance reserved for the young and vulnerable. I grew up and became ready to face my own jackhammer.

Becoming acquainted with the destruction you've caused is not like meeting an old friend. It's like  the morning after a tornado and every thought you have blames yourself like, "What have I done." Slowly the light spreads across the scene. I see drops of blood, a nail through flesh, life draining from a face, breathing rasps of pain, and tears dripping down the bloodied and bare chest of an innocent man. It isn't just any man, though. This man is Life itself, dying in front of me. As I behold His innocence I also realize my guilt. But before it can crush me under it's weight, He steps out of the tomb. Light cuts through the middle of me like a sword separating soul from spirit. I'm saved! He has mined me out of so much hardened rock and so begins the purifying process. My name is now written on golden streets.

Dear children, Jesus will look into your eyes one day and He will see the treasure that you are. Then you will see Him. You will see your value reflected in His eyes. Not only will He never see you as a road block, you are part of His road. Your place in Heaven is secured. He's not looking past you, He's coming directly for you. He knows what many do not: that you are worth it. So when people don't see your value it's because they aren't seeing you with Jesus's eyes. When they do, it's because Jesus did first.