I’ve recently had an ‘aha’ moment. It’s a silly one, but just something I’ve never thought about before. Book publishers have creative artists on staff who design dustjackets so that the books they publish will have greater instant appeal to their target audience. I kind of feel taken advantage of! I would like to think my choice of reading material is based on a loftier plane than the colors and images and graphics and font type on a dustjacket. It’s mostly a subconscious decision-making process of course, but highly successful publishing houses pay a lot of attention to the initial attractiveness of that folded piece of paper encasing their books. It must be where the expression ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ originated.
This week, at the Pastors’ Prayer Summit in Pennsylvania, is confirmation that people, also, are not to be ‘read’ by their ‘covers.’ I was surrounded by a few hundred of the most ordinary, everyday people, people you wouldn’t stop to stare at, people you wouldn’t rush up to to obtain an autograph, people without ‘star power’ written all over their ‘dustjackets.’ People who made me feel right at home. God’s invitation this week was to take the time to ‘read’ them and their stories. And wow! It’s incredible that I didn’t feel the tingle of approaching royalty as they passed me in the hallway, or shiver when they stood beside me in a worship session, or see haloes when we paired off in small groups to pray. It’s come to me that it’s best to completely ignore the outward and focus on gleaning the vast riches stored up inside.
But, even more than that, I’m more convinced than ever that every child of God is a treasure house of amazing accomplishments, whether accomplishments already done or ones still in seed form waiting to be watered and nourished to fruition. With this, comes a greater sense of responsibility, a greater desire to listen more closely to what the Holy Spirit is speaking in my ear concerning all who read my notes or listen to my Sunday messages. Somewhere lately I heard of a very ancient seed that was found in a container somewhere (sorry, I wasn’t paying great attention at the time) but when planted in soil and given water, it sprouted! Its life had been stored up for the right conditions to arrive. We are all like that! Regardless of what has been, regardless of what our dustjacket design says about us, regardless of our detours or our being damaged along the way, Life still resides in us – abundant Life! And given the right ‘growing’ conditions, we all have Kingdom ‘accomplishments’ packed in us, just waiting!
I’m going to ask the Lord to show me where His seeds are so that His Kingdom can sprout up from within. I have a lot of ‘reading’ to do! Can’t wait to get tucked in! PD