Clay Marbles

         A man was exploring caves by the Seashore.                                       
        In one of the caves he  found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay   
        marbles.  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 
        would throw the clay marbles one at a time out into the ocean as far as he 
        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 marbles.  Each   
        contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels
        in the 20 or so in clay marbles he had left.                               
        Then it struck him.  He had been on the beach a long time.  He had thrown   
        maybe 50 or 60 of the clay marbles 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 that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish 
        or well known or wealthy.  But we have not taken the time to find the       
        treasure hidden inside that person.                                         
        There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to get
        to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person 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 bi ts of clay.
        May we see the people in our world as God sees them.                       
        I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you.  Thank you for   
        looking beyond my clay vessel.                                             

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Feb 19, 2009