My first real boyfriend entered my life when I was 16. His name was David and he had great eyes, a great smile, and he was smart and kind. Even better? He had a car. It was a two-door coup with bucket seats and it was painted my favorite color. It easily weaved in and out of traffic because it was small and fast. It had a stereo that cranked up Bruce Springsteen and a hatchback trunk that was just perfect to hold school backpacks. It was dreamy and cool and I loved it.
David’s yellow Ford Pinto was perfect.
Wait…what’s that chuckle about? Doesn’t every red-blooded American woman dream of the day her Prince Charming would show up to sweep her off her feet and carry her off in a bright yellow Pinto?
But to my 16-year-old-heart, that Pinto might as well have been a Ferrari. It was magical.
I’m more sophisticated now. I like leg room, seat warmers, and dual air bags. I get my hair cut at a salon where they don’t charge separately to shampoo your hair. I like restaurants with waiters, hotels with pillow top beds and shoes made of genuine soft leather. I like my coffee made with freshly ground beans. I wonder if David does too.
I was about 7 years old when I decided to bring my elderly neighbor a bouquet of flowers. I wanted to share the beauty in my front yard. I gathered up all the dandelions I could find and nervously knocked on the door. When she opened it, I presented her with my riches. She took them and smiled and said, “Oh! Dandelions! Thank you!” I smiled back. Then she said, “Did you know that dandelions are actually weeds? But thank you anyway, sweetie.” I nodded and walked away. Some of the magic did too. I don’t think I made dandelion bouquets after that.
Why is it that we allow other people to decide what is beautiful, valuable, or sophisticated? Who decided a dandelion is a weed and not a flower anyway? (There is probably some scientific explanation for it, but why should that make a difference to me?)
I though that yellow Pinto was the best car ever. Would I give up my seat warmers and leg room for one now? Probably not. But the Ford Pinto will always be a great car in my eyes.
No one has the right to decide what is beautiful or valuable to your heart. Just because it’s a weed or a crappy car in one person’s eyes doesn’t mean it needs to be in yours.
Jesus is great at seeing beauty in odd places; like in the eyes of a tax collector, the alabaster jar of a sinful woman, and in the dying words of a thief on a cross. He came for both the sophisticated and the rubies. He finds beauty in those who have been mistaken for weeds. He loves the unlovely and sees us in amazing, unimaginably beautiful ways. It’s magical.
What lovely things have you discarded because they were not sophisticated, beautiful, or valuable in the eyes of others?
Today, let us gather bouquets of dandelions and take a drive along the coast in a yellow Ford Pinto and see all the lovely, unsophisticated things can bring us joy. What a magical, beautiful day it will be.
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“Jesus is masterful at seeing the exquisite in odd places. … He came for both the sophisticated and the rubes. Jesus finds beauty in those who have been mistaken for weeds. He loves the unlovely and sees each one of us in amazing, unimaginably beautiful ways.” In her trademark communication style of transparency, humor, and poignant observations, author and speaker Melissa Maimone explores the delights and difficulties of faith-filled living. She shines a vulnerable light on both deep suffering and tremendous joy through short stories, Scripture, prayers, and reflective meditations that read like entries from a journal. More than a devotional, every chapter is a declaration of hope, that in the midst of this ordinary, fractured life, you are deeply cared for, intricately known, and immensely loved by God. BUY NOW
MELISSA MAIMONE brings encouragement to her audiences with a blend of insight, transparency, and theology. Affected by depression and anxiety from a young age, she shares with vulnerability (and plenty of humor!) that a hopeful, joyous life is possible no matter what your circumstance.