Judy Brandon: CNJ correspondent
Christ loved us enough that he gave his life for us. We are valuable to him and he sees value in us that others do not see.
Think about this illustration:
At first glance, the highway from Fort Sumner to Santa Rosa really looks desolate and bleak. We were traveling that road early one morning recently on our way to a meeting in Albuquerque. We did pass several cars and noticed a cowboy off the highway pulling a horse trailer down the roads. It was easy to label the scenery austere.
For the non-native New Mexican and even the one who fails to look beyond, the land does appear deserted and barren.
But focused observation is needed to take in the beauty in the bareness along that stretch of road. I determined that morning to view that road with new eyes. When I looked around in full awareness, God’s handiwork was in plain sight.
I noticed a variety of grasses that reflected a multitude of green, yellow and brown hues. Stalks with dried pods from last year’s yucca plants were scattered across the prairie and I knew in just a short while new blooms would come out once again. Ever so often I saw a windmill and gate and overhead signs that designated who owned the ranch.
Clusters of rocks in assorted shapes and sizes lay scattered about from thousands of years ago. Scrub trees jetted out around and between them. A hawk perched atop a telephone pole seemed unaware that anyone was traveling the highway. The only really contrasting color was the endless sky that bordered the vast land on all sides. It was beautiful.
I had traveled the road countless times and had never realized the extent of the splendor of that land until that day.
Yes, I thought that road from Fort Sumner to Santa Rosa is uninspiring and dull. Perhaps at first glance it is easy to drive that road and determine there is nothing. Yet the beauty was there; I just decided to look.
A good spiritual parallel is evident in this observation. There is a distinction in what God sees in us and what people see in us. Oftentimes at first glance some people look around at others and see nothing noteworthy and valuable in others.
On the surface, we determine a person is unsuccessful because we use our own standards to deem that person successful or not. Income, size of house, make of car and “connections” a person has too many times are the determiners of success on the surface level when we look at others.
Yet the story of the resurrection is powerful because God knows all the frailties, frustrations, fears and failings in all of us and sees people for what they are. What seems less than success is not seen that way by God. God knows all the possibilities that lie within a person and he sees them and appreciates them. He can take any of us right where we are, forgive us and he can enhance the beauty and possibilities that each of us have in our lives if we only let him.
In God’s eyes, diamonds are the least valuable of all our possessions. The message of Easter is the beauty of a life lived in Christ.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: