Words of Encouragement

Archive for October, 2011


I love exploring antique shops and flea markets.  I get excited about the possibility that this may be the very day that I find the ultimate treasure! Vintage shops are places to explore bygone eras and see fascinating objects.

In one shop I browsed display cases of estate jewellery that were there on consignment.  One ring caught my eye.  I saw a glint of green shining through the dirt that encased it.  The shop owner brought the ring out for me and gave me a loop magnifier to get a closer look.  It was covered with years of grime and what looked like hardened bread dough and possibly varnish.  The previous owner obviously did her work without ever taking her ring off.  It told a story.  Through the loop I could see the 10K stamp and the intricate weave of the gold around an opal, an emerald, and two tiny diamonds.  SOLD!  I paid the few dollars and took it home.  It was a painstaking job to clean up decades of dirt, but it was worth it.  It was a lovely and unique little ring that I could enjoy for many more years.  I had found a treasure that everyone else had overlooked because they could not see past the layers of grime!

At another shop, I found a great purse, just the colour and size I wanted.  It was also just a few dollars so I made the purchase and left rather pleased with myself.  Later, as I unwrapped my prize, my heart leapt as I read the label – PRADA!!  I texted my daughters and bragged about my find.  Ria texted back “is it Prada or is it Frauda?”  This led me to investigate further and it did not take me long to find out that my purse was indeed a fake.  Within a week it began to literally peel off on the handles and the “Prada” label fell off!  I was relieved that I had only paid a few dollars. Miserable thing!

I thought about my two second hand finds.  Neither were what they first seemed at all.  One was a hidden treasure with lots of potential and the other was just a glittery fake.

I wondered if I judged people like that.  I had a sick feeling inside that maybe I do sometimes.  People may not be what they seem at first glance either.  Many that I dismissed have turned out to be valuable gems with huge potential, unpretentious diamonds in the rough.  When encouraged and given a chance they were true treasures, and a huge blessing in my life.  On the other hand, some that had my full attention and admiration because of their cool label, peeled off bit by bit to reveal their fraudulent inner layer.

I took a hard look at myself.  Could I have the potential to be both of these at some point?  I became aware of my many layers and what is revealed about who I really am underneath.  I thank God that He loves me enough to constantly work on me to mould me into the person that He wants me to be.  He gently peels off the bad layers and polishes the parts that can gleam for His service.

Now I try to look at people in a different light.  Do you see some hidden treasures that are just waiting to be discovered?  Could you have a role in encouraging someone to be the very best that God wants them to be?  Take another look.  You may find pure gold!

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. ASV

By Cyndi den Otter (C)
October 20, 2011

Copyright 2011 October 20 Cyndi den Otter – All Rights Reserved May be used with author’s permission