Expensive & Impressive

I love to decorate. Anything. I like decorating a home. I like textiles and clothes to drape on the body. I love personal training and bodybuilding as I see the human form as a great canvas built to perform amazing things. How marvelous it is to sculpt and shape and strengthen it. And I also love to wrap gifts and create a gorgeous bow on top. Presentation does matter. First impressions count enormously. It takes countless second impressions to erase a poor first impression. However, we cannot and should not judge the contents of a gift by the bow.

Never judge the package by the beauty of its bow.

Many years ago, after birthing my second child, a lovely woman I knew gave me a gift. I did not know the woman well, and I was a bit surprised when she handed me a crumpled up brown paper bag and congratulated me. She quickly walked away as she gifted me while in passing. Though a bit puzzled, I looked inside the bag to discover the most adorable baby outfit for my newly born son. It was darling and unique and I doubt she bought it at a big box store. It most likely came from a boutique. But there was more. At the bottom of the bag was a check made out to me for the baby in the amount of $500.00. (Let’s quickly remember I said in opening that I knew a lovely woman, but didn’t know her that well.) Usually people don’t give $500.00 to someone they don’t know well, even when they have means to do so. People who have money have it for a reason; they are smart about it and with it.

If you had been handed a package as I what would your thoughts have been? Would you have snubbed it? Snickered as the giver walked by? Held your nose up in pride? Or would you have been delighted with curiosity?

You can’t truly know how’d you’d handle any situation until you’re in it. This I know for certain.

People are like packages.

People can be like presents. Their bows may be grand and spectacular. They look amazing from a distance and maybe even a little closer up. But inside there’s a lot of emptiness and not much to offer for one reason or another. Then there are those who have a simple presentation, but pack enormous and abundant worth on the inside. Others may be extremely humble is position, stature or appearance, but the radiance of Heaven beans from within. You get the idea.

What kind of package are you?

There once was a man who was humble, and simple to look at. Nothing of extraordinary exception in his appearance. Yet he wore a seamless gown (John 19:23).

He was wrapped in perfection.

Christ was wrapped in perfection because he was and is perfection. But he didn’t look how the people thought he should, so they rejected him. I think I witnessed much of the same after super bowl weekend from the religious community regarding Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. I’m not a fan of either woman’s music, I don’t know their songs. But I watched the halftime show and though I wasn’t super wowed by it, I also didn’t expect to be. It’s television. I don’t usually have any high hopes from anything leaking into my home from that thing. But I wasn’t cynical either. Both women are performers and worked hard to bring something to the crowd. My assessment on their package and their bow?....I liked Shakira’s costumes better than J-Lo’s—and that’s about it.

People are priceless. They come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, intellectual capacities, gifts, talents, and abilities. Every single person deserves my best foot forward to believe in all the possibility laced within them. We don’t know what pain may lie inside even the most beautiful packages. After all, isn’t it Grace and Love that makes a heart take a step aside and wonder what this magic is for those who believe in Christ?

Let Grace, Hope and Love wrap around you today like a fine, costly, and regal bow. You have been created for more.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17