There is no dirtier, more sweaty work on the planet than sandblasting; especially in the extreme heat and humidity of South Florida.
Friends of our family had just completed sandblasting yet another large building and had converted much of their final pay into cash. Their old car was on its last legs and he had promised his wife a new one. She reminded him that she had her heart set on a Cadillac. And on a whim that very afternoon they stopped at the large local dealership just as they were; dusty, dirty, sweaty, but with pockets full of money.
They entered the posh showroom and quickly discovered that some do judge a book by its cover. Awkwardness prevailed as they politely waited for one of the several unengaged sales staff to notice them. Finally, one of the younger staff ventured to ask what they wanted. He could hardly believe his ears when my friend said they were there to buy a car. The salesman attempted to redirect them to the used lot just down the street but they were adamant, they wanted a new one. He inquired if they realized the price range of new Cadillacs. They assured him they had their facts researched and their minds made up. He reluctantly agreed to show them the cars available. And of course, the one they really liked was blocked in by several others. All of them had to be moved to get their choice out so they could drive it.
I don't think the salesman was very happy right then.
He would not allow them to drive the car by themselves even though that was customary in those days. He tagged along, thankful that one's nose burns out quickly!
They drove it several miles, then made their way back to the dealership. My friend having seen the window sticker asked the famous "bottom line" question.
The salesman quoted the figure he knew to be the lowest he could go and then with a smirk asked, "...and how did you intend to pay?"
Imagine his shock when my friend answered with an innocent grin, "Why, cash, of course!"
Suddenly, the dealership caught a whiff of hard-earned money. The very ones who had shown little interest in them were now their best friends.
I remember riding in that gorgeous yellow Coupe DeVille snuggled into those delightful cream colored leather seats with a brand new appreciation for the fact that you really dare not attempt to judge any book by its cover. A little interaction with the unfamiliar might just reveal a treasure trove of friendship and loyalty. Sterling qualities of hard work and honesty may be hidden. Godliness and purity could be lurking just beneath the surface of a façade carefully crafted to protect a tender heart.
And aren't we glad God takes time to see our hearts, so hungry for Him?
Have a blessed week as we celebrate God's love and the love He has put into our lives.
Richard Orrell, Lead Pastor