I always love looking at houses online. Even when I'm not in the market I love looking at the architectural and interior design of homes. I also love imagining all the time and effort that is put into "staging" these homes. I remember back a couple of years ago to when our home was on the market. At the time our kids were 5, 7 and 9, just old enough to really do some damage and young enough to not take responsibility for it. I remember the hours we would spend before a showing getting everything just right. We would throw the kids outside and lock the doors... and windows until we could load everyone up in the van to leave, only to realize that we had shoved so much of our mess into our car that there wasn't room for the kids. Not kidding. The realtors would always say how well our house showed. It was impeccable. But no one would buy it. It was on the market for two years. Every time the same thing, "just wasn't quite what they were looking for". After a while you start to think there is something wrong with your house. That maybe we should change something in it to make people want to buy it. You begin doing ridiculous things like buying refrigerated cookie dough and baking them right before the showing and then throwing the cookies away because you just needed that enticing smell. That would sell the house for sure! Or "maybe we should put that third bathroom in the basement, I knew we should have done that. I'm sure that's why it's not selling." You just don't understand why people aren't seeing the value in your home and begin questioning if it even is valuable.
And as I write this, I had planned to relate this all back to the fact that Jesus receives us "just as we are". And although this would make a really good blog and relate to everyone, I couldn't help feeling an overwhelming aching and sadness as I re-read the first paragraph and thought "this is the preparation and heartbreak that young girls go through everyday." Now more than ever they are bombarded with images on social media of what they are supposed to look like. So they spend hours upon hours of time and thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to make it all look right in hopes of finding someone who sees them as valuable. The devastating thing is that these girls already are valued. Jesus bought and paid for each one of them. That was the agreement made between Jesus and His father. I want all of them. Even the ones that crucify me. I want them too. A love that sees beyond appearances. A love that speaks to the potential in each human being. A love that isn't based on merit or appearance or status. A price was paid for them "as is". AS IS. That means they are wanted just the way they are. No need to fix, change or add anything.
I'm not sure how many young, single women/girls will read this, as that is not the audience I tend to draw, but if you are reading this and either have a daughter or are influencing young girls in any way, please remind them today that they are loved "as is". In fact, remind them every day.