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Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

I saw a billboard once advertising a company that boasted that ‘We buy Ugly houses’. The company apparently bought up houses that weren’t in the best of shape and then either fixed them up or resold them.

In essence they took something that no one wanted and made it into something more presentable. They took the unusable and made it useable. They took something of little or no value and make it valuable. I think about that whenever I’m driving through the country side and see old, abandoned farm houses. Places that were once the pride and joy of the owners. Places that saw babies born and grandparents die. Places of celebration and sadness. But whatever the situation, those old ugly homes once had great value and sentiment.

This verse in Romans has always been one of my favorites for in it hold a promise that, at least in Jesus eyes, I’ll never become like one of those old, dilapidated eyesores that once were called ‘home’.

It’s easy to love a new home with fresh paint and warm carpet and shiny windows. It’s not so easy to love an old house that’s strewn with garbage and has holes in the walls, broken windows and signs of little four-legged inhabitants.

In the same way people are easy to love when they are kind, respectful, and show evidence of having had a shower sometime in the recent past. People who are talkative, intelligent and humble are a joy to be around. We all gravitate towards people who make feel comfortable and of great value.

But what about the ugly people? I’m not talking just about physical appearance. I’m talking about inner beauty as well. What about the person that cuts you off in traffic or the one that insists on driving 10 MPH below the posted speed limit? What about the wait-staff at the local restaurant who makes you feel like you are a huge disruption to their day? What about the foul-mouthed co-worker who knows how their language offends you and finds every opportunity to let you hear an earful whenever you are near.

Does Jesus love them? Yep. He does. Not only does he love them. He loves me too. He loves me when I’m angry. He loves me when I’m having a bad day and perfectly willing to share my disposition with all those around me. He loves me when I’m so sure that I’m right that I make you feel like an idiot for disagreeing.

A buyer of an ‘ugly house’ doesn’t see an eyesore, he sees an opportunity to make something useful out of something worthless; something charming out of something repulsive; of making a building into a home.

Jesus does the same for each of us. Jesus looks past our ugliness and sees a treasure, a diamond in the rough. He doesn’t care how you got into the situation you are in. He isn’t interested in your history as much as he is your future. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do to change it.

PRAYER: Jesus, I thank you for your love. I thank you that even though I can be really ugly at times you love me and see me as a chosen vessel in your sight. You see me as a palace when everyone else sees me as an old, useless building. Forgive me for my ugliness. Empower me with your spirit to be one who shows your love through all I say and do. In your name I pray, Amen.

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January 2011
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