Seeing People for Their Full Value
I love my car. Or, more appropriately, I loved my car. It was recently vandalized and as a result was considered a total loss by my insurance company who, as I was reminded frequently while being placed on hold, is on my side. So this total loss has to be a good thing, I am certain. It’s just that right now, it doesn’t feel so good. No one shared my love for the car, a 2001 Toyota Corolla with over 250,000 miles on it. My children were embarrassed by it. My friends constantly teased me about it. And I can’t explain my love. Admittedly, it was not much to look at. It had fought with a basketball pole in the driveway, a family member’s car who forgot it was sharing the driveway, and had survived another encounter or two, the details of which are fuzzy now. You had to actually “roll” the windows down, and manually lock each door. You could only listen to cassettes -- out of only one ear.
The insurance lady called and quizzed me on the car’s options: Did it have this? Did it have that? Her frustration grew as I attempted to recall the specifics of the car now hiding in shame under a bright blue tarp in its spot in front of my house. “Is there anyone else more familiar with the details of this car,” she asked, clearly irritated. “The more options you can tell me about, the higher we can value this car.”
Who else could possibly be more familiar with this car? She was just asking all the wrong questions. She didn’t care about the way my body comfortably nestled in the driver’s seat, how rhythmically I could accelerate and brake, the squeal of the engine that announced my arrival, the pink tinted passenger seat that reminded me happily of time spent renovating our house, the way a shovel and rake and hoe fit just perfectly angled through the seats for trips to the garden, the supply of lettuce seeds that had spilled last year and were left as a reminder of all that is good about gardening. Oh, I knew my car, all right.
Because of my intimacy, I saw my car with different eyes from the assessing eyes of my interrogator.
Thankfully, God does not look at me with the eyes of the insurance agent. Because of his intimacy with me, he sees me with different eyes. He is not concerned with the things the world values. He is not concerned with my list of options.
I have no choice then as I encounter people in my life, except to look at them through God’s eyes. Eyes that see value in everyone, despite their option packages. Eyes that never see total losses.