Damaged Goods
Carol Davis, A She Speaks Graduate

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17 (NIV)

I walked down the aisle of the discount grocery looking for a bargain that I couldn't live without. It's always hit and miss in this store...and I had missed...again.

But, I passed by a bin that caught my eye. "Damaged Goods." It was filled with dented cans and missing labels...no real rhyme or reason, just random items that were not shelf worthy. And suddenly, I knew just how they felt.

Life sometimes delivers the unexpected. Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks bruise us, dent us and remove the label that defines who we are. We feel as if we have been tossed into a bin, no longer worthy of a place on the shelf. Some people substantiate the lie that we are second class failures and all hope is gone.

So, I leaned over and intentionally chose a dented can with no label from the bin. I got it home and placed it on the can opener with anxious anticipation. The whirr of the can opener finally penetrated the metal lid to reveal....peaches!!! I let out a school girl squeal! I love peaches!! What a treat to open this can and be greeted by one of my favorite fruits. The can was damaged but the contents were still good...and sweet.

God must have smiled...because at that moment the sunshine beamed in my kitchen window. I knew in my heart there was a lesson.

I have been damaged. We all have to some degree. I am not living the life that I dreamed about when I was a kid. However, the damage that I have suffered has made the contents of my heart so much sweeter, so much more compassionate, so much more in pursuit of Jesus. I have been looked down upon and judged by many who have seen my label missing and slapped on their own.

I've wanted to say, "Don't judge too quickly. My damage has not defined me...but, it is refining me." I may be at the bottom of the life's bin, but Jesus paid as high a price for those of us at the bottom as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf.

Look around you. Is there someone in your life, your family or your church that you consider "damaged goods"? Don't miss an opportunity to reach out to them, to love them. You just might find a friendship that is good...and sweet.

Dear Lord, my life hasn't turned out exactly turned out like I thought it would. But, I know that You can still use me. Please forgive me for labeling others and judging them by their outside circumstances instead of the work that You are doing in their heart. Help me realize that we all have dents but that's what keeps us desperate for a Savior. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Treasured: Knowing God by the Thing He Keeps by Leigh McLeroy

Thin Places by Mary E. DeMuth

When a Woman Meets Jesus: Finding the Love Every Woman Longs For by Dorothy Valcarcel

Connect with Carol on her blog

Application Steps:
Write down all the life circumstances that have 'dented' your heart. Ask God to use your dents and scratches for His glory.

Is there someone you are judging unfairly? By their circumstance? Or life situation?

What can you do to reach out to that person today?

Have you been judged unfairly? How did that make you feel?

Power Verses:
Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…" (NIV)

© 2010 by Carol Davis. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Leslie Nease said...

Amazing...simply amazing. Thank you for being willing to share your sweet heart, Carol.

Blogger Gigi said...

I will never look at a dented can the same, I have been dented, dropped and labeled and thank Jesus for his unconditional LOVE.


Blogger Admin said...

What an uplifting story :) Brought a smile to my day and brightened my morning. Thank you ;)

Blogger Mickey said...

I too am a dented can that Jesus has plucked from the bin, opened and is redefining. Thank you Lord!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I am one of those damaged people. I have had a lot of things happen that put me in a bad place. I never looked at this in a way like this. I will no longer let the damage define who I am or who I become but to refine me into what I want to become

Anonymous Bethany said...

Sometimes we, or at least I do, feel shamed by the dings and dents. Thank you for the reminder that we contain beauty within, no need for shame.

Blogger Rita Garcia said...

Many times it's the broken that are humble enough for God to use them. Thanks for sharing this amazing inspiration from your heart! Hugs, Rita

Blogger LivingSoAbundantly said...

Carol, you will never know how you have affected people's lives and continue to do so. Many times on the radio, you have said what I needed to hear...when I needed to hear it. Your laugh is awesome, and it makes me laugh, too! I personally think you are the funniest. Thank you for shining for Him. What you wrote touched home so much. God is the label maker, and we really shouldn't let someone else decide what label to put on us. Thank you SO much! You rock!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much.
I wish there was an easy way to share these devotions with others on facebook or twitter (like youtube does) - added links would really get the word out even more!! Just an idea....

Anonymous EM said...

Great post. :) Thank you. Praise God that He remembers what's still inside mislabeled and damaged 'cans'. Amen!

Anonymous Lana said...

God is going to use you, Carol, in a mighty way. You may be a "She Speaks" graduate but God has poured out his Holy Spirit on you with knowledge and wisdom, understanding and strength, and the Spirit of Counsel. Women everywhere should never look at a dented can the same again. Likewise, they should never look at themselves the same. Grace to you!

Blogger LLJ said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This hit home for me. I have recently gone through a divorce where i found my husband cheating. i gave him monthes to come back his family but he still chose her. He has been so hurtful and has put me down in all areas of life. Without the Lord in my life I don't know where I would be today. I am prying that God will help me forgive my X husband and free me from the lables he has wrappd me in.

Blogger Carol Davis said...

Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement. You will never know what they mean to this dented can!!! I am praying for each of you...that God would love on you in a special way today!

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