What do you see when you look at them?
Some people see a mess of fallen, decaying dead little lawn-invaders.
They sweep them, rake them, blow them, suck them up in lawn mower bags…but why?
I see fallen leaves and I see things of beauty. They’re like jewels from heaven dropped down to adorn the earth in autumn splendor. They’re not a mess, they’re a blessing—Nature’s lawn ornaments. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re also good fertilizer. Out of the old, decaying leaves, the ground absorbs their nutrients and they stimulate richer, healthier life for the things that will grow there when the warmth of Spring drives away the last traces of Winter.
In society there are human equivalents to fallen leaves.
(Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this. J)
They’re the ones who aren’t young and beautiful, not famous, not rich, not talented.
They’re the ugly, the old, the overlooked, the unpopular.
They’re the poor, the plain, the untalented.
They’re the homeless, the disabled, the disordered, the overweight, the bankrupt, the bullied, the abused, the failed abortions.
They’re the addicts, the insecure, the self-conscious, self-loathing, the adulterers, the hurt, the broken.
They’re the unloved, the unwanted, the bitter, and the hardened.
They’re the prostitutes, the prisoners, the orphans, the widows, the pregnant teenage girls, the single fathers, widowers.
They’re the lost and downtrodden of society.
They’re the fallen.
In the Eye of the Beholder
When we look at these, the fallen ones, what do we see?
When we are these, the fallen ones, how do we feel? How do we classify ourselves?
Well, I’ll tell you what Jesus sees.
He sees a beautiful creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. He sees His children, some lost and gone astray, yet all whom He loves beyond measure and longs to love and liberate, to rescue and redeem, comfort and heal. He sees something sacred, something of value, something worth loving, something worth…dying for.
Noah was a drunk; Jacob a liar.
Rahab was a prostitute and Moses a murderer.
Thomas was a doubter and David an adulterer.
Yet he used these people. He loved these people.
And He loves you.
“Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“…for I don’t see as man sees. For man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“‘Aren’t two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father’s will, but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
“I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
God’s love for His children, even the least and lowliest of them, is evident throughout the Bible.
God not only loves them, but He uses them.
He uses the ones who are perhaps the most ill-equipped people for the job.
But then, He doesn’t called the equipped…He equips the called.
And He calls some of the lowliest, inept, unprepared people.
I think it’s because, in this way, He can show us that He loves all of His children, no matter who they are or what circumstances surround them. So He can show us that we are loved and valuable. That, with God at the helm, there is nothing impossible for us and we can indeed accomplish great things.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
And I think it’s because, by using the lowly and the ill-equipped, the accomplishment is all the greater and the glory belongs to Him.
God didn’t let Gideon go to fight against the Midianites with his original group of around 32,000…and He didn’t let him go with 10,000. No, He only let Him go once the group had been reduced to 300.
“Yahweh said to Gideon, ‘The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel brag against me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” Judges 7:2
So when the Midianites were defeated. It was clear who had done the defeating.
By using the lowly and the fallen, God can better reveal His truth and majesty.
A whole and perfect jar of clay would hide and obscure a light placed inside it, but a broken one would allow the light to shine through.
So it is with us.
God’s light is seen far better, not through perfect pots…but through broken vessels.