Clay Balls

 
A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

They didn't look like much but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he threw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the twenty or so clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe fifty or sixty of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands.  But he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We see some people as less important than others who are more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside the less attractive people.

Each one of us is a treasure. If we take the time to get to know people, and if we ask God to show us people the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
 
(Received in e-mail; author unknown to me.)