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As far back as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed going to thrift stores and flea markets. Finding old scuffed and dented treasures just appeals to the treasure hunter inside of me.

I remember going to a thrift store as a child, where all of the sale items had been rescued from a burned warehouse. There was a row of brown teddy bears, staring back at me with yellow, agony-filled eyes, whose heads, ears, and arms had been badly burned. I felt pain for those burned bears, they never had the same chance to experience love and companionship as their un-burned counterparts. Yet I was pulled in by them, whereas the teddy bears, had they been new in the store may have never caught my eye in quite the same manner.

In high school, I used to pile into the car with a bunch of friends and we’d drive down to Santa Monica, Calif. and search through bins of vintage clothes, records, and odd knick-knacks. We all usually came away with an assortment of old wonderful finds, to add to our growing collections of interesting things. The best part of it though was the going and finding, the search, the time taken to carefully find just the right item.

Something Concrete

As I’ve grown older, I appreciate the rare used item even more. In this world of techno fantasy, where the meaning of things seems to be lost inside the wires of a computer or tablet, I find myself yearning for something concrete, something that I can hold in my hands and feel the texture, the craftsmanship, the mistakes.

I got to thinking, the Bible says that Jesus often went in search of people. People with broken hearts. People in poverty, bruised and battered by life's trials and addictions. People caught in the woven webs of sin, seemingly stuck in their circumstances.

Like those burned and sooty teddy bears of my childhood, Jesus searches through the dusty bins of civilization, looking for those rife with imperfection and offering them the loving arms of grace. Giving hope where hope seems lost, in a world where nothing seems to fit, He gently sift’s us from the sands, dusts us off and adds us to His growing collection of found souls.

It’s never too late to find and be found.

“...for the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost"  (Luke 19:10).

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ©.

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