I'm a BIG thrift shopper. I love Goodwill, and other consignment stores, but I particularly like Goodwill because of their outstanding prices and the sense of personal satisfaction when after digging through dozens of people's old closets you find a steal. I'm very excited too when it's a good brand I know, or, a "trendy"/"in" brand. So as I deftly flit through the racks, my fingers are constantly locating the tags. Sonoma...No Boundaries...Old Navy...(a brand only my great grandmother might know)...oh wait...Ralph Lauren?? Gap?? LOFT?!! And look...is this FREE PEOPLE?!?! (If you don't know who Free People is, no worries. I didn't until a few months ago. They're just really expensive and often really cute styles. It's all in the name...sigh)
I was browsing through the purses today..."mmmmm, granny style...my mom might wear that...oooh! Old Navy...that has potential..." when a thought struck me: We put a lot of stock in brand names and visual identity, and that's not just in clothes. We flit through people as if they were a rack of "potentials," writing off this one, labeling that one: "Nope, she's a prep and a bad-girl. Nope, he's a jock, so he has no brains. Nope, she's a nerd; she's not in touch with reality. Nope, he's poor and dresses weird. Nope, she makes me look bad."
Is this true? Or is it not?? I think we do it more than we realize. Sometimes it goes like this: "She has lots of money; she must be a snob. I'm going to avoid her"...or..."She's so annoyingly spiritual and goodie-two-shoes..." In reality, that wealthy lady may just be blessed financially, not a snob, and very giving and hospitable. And, that super spiritual girl, if you really got her to speak truthfully, has probably got some battle scars and a more "human" demeanor under the surface. Don't write people off. And that's a reminder to me too.
In short, we're quickly skimming the tags on people's backs and asking "who made you?" just the way you would in skimming clothing merchandise. "Oh, you're off-brand...generic..." But wait!!! God says that every hair on your head is numbered, and that his thoughts for you are more than the grains of sand by the sea. And that goes for EVERYONE!!! Therefore, EVERYONE is brand-name, God's brand. Every tag says "hand-made," "one-of-a-kind," "delicate." We are all individually crafted, knit together in our mother's womb as Kind David said it. And each person is fragile and in need of assurance, love, and respect. God loves every article of clothing in His closet, and who are we to call God-brand off-brand and cheap?
Reflecting on how much God values every human being,