My friend Jacob told me that he thinks of people as cars a lot.
We were eating chips and salsa and quasadillas. Crunching away and talking about God and girls and people. And life. Lots of life.
He told me Drew I think people are a lot like super nice cars covered in dents and dings and a good layer of dirt. They think they aren’t nice cars, just loads of loose bolts and crap because that’s what they’ve been told. But you know what? I think they are really amazing cars because God made them amazing. They just haven’t been told of their amazingness.
Like maybe people are driving around feeling worthless with a finger-painted “Wash Me” on their back windshield.
Maybe all they need is a good car wash.
* * *
The more that I think about it, the more I realize that Jesus talked about those people a lot in the Bible. In fact, he really loved them and he loved hanging out with them because he knew they weren’t trying to be stuffy all the time. Jesus wasn’t a fan of stuffiness.
One time he went to a well in the middle of the day and hung out with a lady that the world didn’t like.
It was just him and her and a well with a bucket. He broke the ice by asking for some water. She was kind of surprised so she said wait why would you talk to me? Because I’m a woman and a Samaritan and all that.
And Jesus said it’s funny because if you actually knew me you would be asking me for some of my living water.
She looked at him super confused.
She said how would you even get the water? I have a bucket but you don’t have anything.
And Jesus said you get all this water from this well but keep coming back for more. What if I said I had a place where I got water that never stops gushing? What if I said I had water that was living and never died and was always fresh and refreshing?
Well, she said, well I would like some of that water. Where do I get it?
Next Jesus told her call your husband but she didn’t have one and he knew that. Then he said I knew you didn’t have a husband and you have actually had five and you’re even living with a guy who isn’t a husband. So like five and a half.
Her mouth was probably crazy wide at this point.
They talk some more until she finally says I know that the Messiah is coming and when he comes he will know all this stuff and tell us the truth.
And so Jesus looked at her and he said epically I’m that guy.
And he winked and grinned and hugged her (at least, I like to imagine he did). Then she told her entire town and they were all saved and partied with heaven and Jesus for the next two days.
The Bible makes it really clear that this lady had a broken down car.
Each of the five men who left her probably also left gashes in each side of her car. Paint was scraped off in the bitter impact of another man, and she grew more and more accostumed to her dishevelment. After a while people just started keying her car each time they walked past it, forcing her to go to a well in the middle of the heat of the day to draw water.
And then Jesus came and one conversation happened and her life was forever impacted. Jesus saw the dents and the dings and the gashes and the key marks and he cared. He looked at her in the eye and believed in her. He spoke words that meant redemption; he didn’t neglect her past, didn’t tell her she was perfect. He told her she was worthy of redemption. And as he told her, her car was washed with living water. Soaked and drenched and danced in water that didn’t end.
She went back to her town a changed woman and a really beautiful car.
* * *
I don’t know what kind of car you drive. I don’t know if it has 27,000 horses in its engine or just a pile of glue that used to be a horse. I don’t know how many crashes you have had, girls you have been with, or drugs you have done. Your door may be barely hanging on by a rubber band and a glue stick for all I know. But you are not lost.
Hold on a second and I will say it again. Pay attention because Jesus is staring at you.
You are not lost.
He sees you and is asking you for water. He is telling you that he is your salvation and he is your hope and he creates redemption with the words from his mouth.
You are not lost.
* * *
I don’t know what kind of car you drive, but I know that it is a great looking car.
Dents remain. Scars remain. Memories remain.
But you know what else remains?
Faith remains. Hope remains. Love remains.
And the greatest of these is love.
Love is a living water that never runs dry and continually cleans beautiful cars.