When I was a kid, I went fishing all the time.
I was fortunate to have a dad, granddad, and a neighbor who took me often. As a result, I’ve got a hundred ice chests full of memories. (Unfortunately, half of them involve me hooking my dad in the neck with a fishing lure.)
As I got older I started to get into other things, but I still occasionally found a lake.
On one such instance, I ventured out with one of my best friends, Brad. Brad had the coolest old Jeep ever and access to a boat, so one day we made plans to head out.
When we got to the lake, Brad let me get behind the wheel to back the boat into the water. I can’t remember why. Even though I had a ton of fishing experience, I had never actually backed a boat into the water before.
My dad or my granddad had always done that.
At any rate, somehow I managed to get the boat down the ramp without a hitch and then I jumped out to help Brad push it off the trailer and into the water.
With that accomplished, I just needed to park the Jeep and we were all set.
But there was a problem.
I had failed to unlock the doors before getting out.
So there we were…a couple of high school kids…a boat in the water…a running Jeep…backed down a ramp…with the keys locked inside.
I had no idea how Brad and I were going to get out of this one. And in that moment, I think I realized why my dad never let me drive his truck down a boat ramp.
Just about the time I was ready to offer Brad my life savings for a locksmith or a tow truck, he noticed something. The sunroof of that Jeep was cracked open and Brad knew how to unlatch it from the outside so it would completely open. Once that was done, it was big enough for a high school kid to crawl through. Hallelujah!
You know, I think most people are a lot like Brad’s old Jeep that day.
When you first look at them, there appears to be no way in. But if you look a little closer, you’ll notice a tiny opening somewhere.
You see, the world is full of folks that lock the doors to who they really are. But most people leave a crack somewhere because deep down they really want to let someone in. They’re just scared.
Even the most closed off people can be cracked by at least one topic…their kids, their favorite sports team…something.
I mean, I’ve never met a person who didn’t want someone to care about them. Most people don’t scream it from the mountaintop, but they’ll leave a crack open in hopes someone will stay around long enough to notice and maybe barge in like a high school kid crawling through a sunroof.
But so often we see a locked door and give up and just move on.
So we never get to know people or share God’s love with them.
Brad noticed the sunroof that day because he had to. He couldn’t just leave his Jeep there. He couldn’t just give up and move on. That was his prized possession.
What if we treated the people we encountered like that? What if we treated them like a prized possession? What if we refused to give up on them? What if we stuck around long enough to find a crack to crawl through?
I think Jesus wants us to find those tiny cracks, too.
After all, that’s what He does.
That’s what He did for me.
I locked my doors for as long as I could. Fortunately though, He sees all of us as His prized possession. So He didn’t give up on me and just move on. He found the crack in my heart and hopped inside. And I’ve never been the same since.
I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think He wants me to treat people the same way.
So, I really want to start looking at people the way Brad looked at that old Jeep that day.
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