It’s a cynical viewpoint, is mine.
I suddenly realized that I have spent my life expecting the worst of people. Maybe it hurts less that way. If you don’t expect much, you won’t be surprised when you don’t get much. Lowered expectations.
“I knew something like this was going to happen,” you mutter to yourself as the latest shining knight falls off of his steed.
I talked with him a few minutes and got the particulars about the guitar; then I asked him to send some pictures to my phone. The guitar looked great in the pictures – really great. I wanted it! I checked my resources and determined a fair price for this model in the condition he claimed it was in, a claim the photos seemed to confirm. It was a fair amount of money. He said he’d bring the guitar right down.
He had stepped to the wall, where the monstrosity hung, just moments before. It took him mere seconds to recognize what had been done to the guitar. Stepping back again, he sought to console me in my disappointment.
“From ten feet away, it looks just fine.”
I wasn’t mollified. The guitar will never again be a desirable collectible.
Nothing to see here! Move along!
I’m finding, the longer I walk through this life, that people aren’t like guitars. Well, except for the occasional chance resemblance, that is. You see, a guitar, once ruined, is ruined for the rest of its days. Not so with humans. Oh, I’ll grant that some will never recover. Many don’t wish to live any differently. But I firmly believe in grace, in new beginnings, even in deathbed conversions. That last option is not one I would recommend, because it precludes the opportunity to demonstrate what grace accomplishes when lived out. That said, grace is still grace, at whatever point in life it touches us.
I am a believer in the power of love to change men’s hearts.
Grace reaches through the thickest of coverings to bring the soul to the light of day. My guitar-painting friend might think the result ugly. All the scars and pain of a lifetime are laid open to public view. And, you know, the truth is not always pretty, is not always pleasing to the eye. I’m fairly certain though, that in the honest wear which is left when the facade is stripped away, we can see the original beauty, in which our Creator intended us to walk all the days of our lives.