My head was pounding in sync with the foot stomps from the upstairs bedroom.
I grabbed the newly purchased ibuprofen bottle; trusting relief would come soon.
The box was a generous 3 inches in height, with the bottle inside standing tall at an easy 2 1/2 inches. I ripped off the plastic wrapper, popped the top, pulled out the HUGE cotton pack and there resting in the bottle were just enough pills to cover the bottom.
Are you kidding me????
These pills could have adequately fit in an iPod Nano!
I read the label again…”24 tablets.” All this packaging for a measly 24 pills!!
We can package well the image we convey to others.
Last Saturday morning, Dave and I were enjoying coffee and yummy treats at Panera Bread — an early morning breakfast date.
I scanned the crowd of customers:
- soon-to-be empty nesters, dropping their son off at the local university
- a twenty-something student pouring over books
- lap-tops and smartphones in the hands of those scrolling in corner booths
- two older couples…friends for years… sharing muffins brought in their own Tupperware
I turned my attention back to our table for two…Everyone here has a story and only God knows the real inside all this outside packaging.
We work hard to market our packaging…cover-up, make-up and dress-up. Packaging to show others what we want them to see…yet God sees beyond all that to the real inside.
I was shocked and surprised at the content inside the ibuprofen bottle.
Yet God isn’t shocked or surprised by what’s inside. It’s comforting and scary all at the same time.
Scary because He knows us so well…He knows our bad habits, our moments of weakness, our way with sin…
Comforting in that He knows us so well and loves us still.
- He knows our bad habits…and loves us still.
- He knows our moments of weakness…and loves us still.
- He knows our way with sin…and loves us still.
He reaches for us. He looks beyond the packaging to the real inside.
There’s no façade. Marketing Package or pretending with Him.
The coffeehouse, mall and workplace…even our churches and homes…are filled with people hiding in the packaging.
We are all guilty of showing a put-together self with smile in place to all who come near. Yet inside we are crumpled, broken and torn-apart.
I, myself, am guilty of such…there are times and places where we hold it together for necessity purposes…and that’s okay. Sometimes life demands that for protection and sanity.
But living in the packaging brings suffocation.
We all need a safe-place to breathe and live real…to let it out and be loved still.
Our churches, homes and lives need to be safe places where people can take off the packaging, breathe and be loved for the real that’s inside.
Loving like Him is to love without packaging.
God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature…God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” ~ 1Samuel 16:7 (The Message)