A Different Kind of Toy Story

02 July 2010


Just last week, my family took a vacation to the gorgeous Carolina Coastline. Our grandparents retired there and we go every year to visit. It’s fantastic! But today, I’d like to comment on a little kernel of truth I gleaned during our stay.

My grandmother, you must first understand, is an incredibly neat lady. If there were dust in her home, it would be in rows by alphabetical order, I’m sure. When my little sister presented my grandmother with her favorite doll, a doll which was looking pretty mangy, ‘Memaw’ quickly jumped to action. With a washer/dryer set that has enough buttons to send a man to Mars, ‘Memaw’ threw in some Woolite and Downy, quickly putting the doll on a clean streak, for the moment at least.

You also should understand that this doll is one of the cheapest things ever. Really, I’m pretty sure it came from the clearance bin at Dollar Tree. It’s cute enough, but not incredibly valuable or rare. The eyes are a little too close together, some error from the factory I’d imagine, and the ears are a little too far apart, no doubt from my sister’s tugs and pulls. But do you know what makes this doll special? How my sister treats it.

Although our friend the doll wasn’t bought at a great price or kept in immaculate condition, my little sister cared enough to ensure that only the best treatment was provided for her little friend; a friend which had provided my sister with hours of play. Even though my grandmother knew very well that the toy wasn’t incredibly valuable, she took the time – and a whole load of laundry – to show her respect.

In many ways, people are like my sister’s doll.

An individual may not be much to look at on the outside, but are full of unexpected potential on the inside. Most of the time you and I probably evaluate people based on their exterior worth. (If you don’t, please pray for us who do!) A person’s value should come from how we treat them.

We’re going to take this thought one step further: everybody, whether they realize it or not, begin as “not much to look”. Romans 3 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” (ESV) No one is in perfect condition, that is, not until God – the ultimate “Washer”, if you will – treats us like precious dolls worthy of respect, love, and a good, deep cleaning.

I hope that each time you look at a doll, you’ll see an example of this kind of infinite love and amazing grace.

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