I was driving to work behind one of about a gazillion SUV's this morning and noticed a pretty good sized dent on the back panel. The 1st thing I do when I see these dents is slow down, for fear they are just reckless drivers. This morning I backed off a bit more because we have just enough ice on the road to be hazardous.
The second thing I do is ponder how it happened, based on location and severity of the dent and on the driving techniques observed. It is my belief the vehicle in front of me backed into something fairly tall, because they were traveling far too fast to be hit from behind. I'm just hoping it wasn't anything living.
Of course, as my mind works, I then got to thinking about my immediate 'judgment' of these drivers and their vehicles. I thought about when I shop for a 'used' vehicle...I'm searching for NO dings an dents. You know how you can get the listing of all reported accidents, floods, hurricanes, etc, the vehicle has been involved in...I definitely want all the details I can get, because these vehicles may not last as long and may not be a great purchase. I thought about how that translates in life.
I believe we ALL have dings and dents...some of us from as early as childbirth or before. Others of us may not receive our first ding or dent for years, but eventually we ALL get them. Some of us get them repaired (or attempt to). Some of us cover them up with long clothing, layers of skin, makeup, even by developing talents and skills that impair 'vision'. I would consider buying a 'dinged' or 'dented' vehicle that looked or performed really well, one that had an incredible stereo system, or GPS system.
I know none of us wants to admit we may be a bit shallow (or is it truly just me...nah!), but sometimes we make incorrect assumptions about someone based on their dings and dents. I think about in my own life as I struggled with my weight as a younger adult and into adulthood, people were downright vicious in their assumptions about me being lazy or undisciplined or even stupid. Honestly, the comments I heard only fueled the fire of my own judgment against others as I excused my behavior as self-defense.
There are labels for nearly everyone that is DIFFERENT from us. They are based on race, gender, religion, age, hair color, size, eye-color, social status, marital status, clothing, wealth, disabilities, even where someone lives or goes to school may lead to judgment. Now I want to reflect back to God and how He only used PERFECT people for all of His assignments.
If you are shaking your head vehemently now...you get the picture. Isaiah had his tongue singed (that had to feel good), Samson had his hair (and strength) cut, Jacob walked with a limp after God 'dinged' him. I too, have had scars both visible and invisible as she struggled with God and man. Basically everyone God has used had imperfections, both visible and invisible.
You may want to know why...well let's face facts...we're all dinged and dented! Some are from the world and some are direct from our maker, as He shapes and molds us into works of art for His Kingdom! I reflect back about my own story and how it's a part of who I am. It's a part of my own testimony of God's redeeming grace, mercy and love.
I pray today we would begin to embrace all the dings and dents we see in life and while I'm not going to seek them out...if they find me, I will survive and perhaps thrive!