When Michael was in Afghanistan I was in a desperate situation and needed to buy a car. The day before he deployed, I totaled my Expedition. I was left with the “get-there car”. The car that when speaking to your friends you throw out the disclaimer: its paid for and it gets us there!
One day it stopped “getting-us- there” and I had to buy a car. From a car salesman. By myself. I ended up with a mini-van. I hate mini-vans. I hated them then, I passionately despise them now. With every unlocking of the door I cursed then blessed it, “I freekin' HATE this van, oh, but Jesus, thank you for transportation.”
It is now gone. I will spare you the details, but know that I was not sad to see it go. We knew we needed a second car. We survived one car for two years, but our busy, crazy, teenager, shift work, weekend job schedule couldn't handle it. So off we went searching, to pay cash with a very slim budget.
Before we left Michael warned me,
“You do realize these cars aren't going to be perfect. We have to look at the potential. We can put work into whatever car we get a little at a time.”
We drove an hour away, we test drove, we shopped around (in the rain, may I add) we compared. We offered the cash we had in our pocket. We were rejected. Late into the afternoon I spent hours digging through Craigslist and found it! The car, that in my gut I knew was the one. Yes, they took what we had in our pocket. Yes, it needed some work, but really, we practically stole it. God was so, so good to us. And, as always, he taught me something.
We don't always look at people the same way the Crawford's shopped for a car. In fact, Michael and I probably extended more grace to the car than you and I do people. The more new people I meet and get to know the more criticism and judgement I hear. Spend an evening with 20 teenagers and no mercy, people, no mercy!
Truth is, Jesus wants us to always extend grace and see potential in people, because He does. After all, he has seen the potential in you. He knows what you are capable of. He trusts you to raise kids and have a spouse. He knows that He can cleanse you and recharge you and make you something brand new. He is willing to pour his time and love and resources into you. Are you willing to do the same for others?
Today, see the potential in people. Simply, see people how Jesus sees them. There truly is blessings greater than a new car in it!!