The story below has been circulated many times. I have no idea who the author is.
Now and again it is nice to have a gentle reminder of why we are here and what our purpose is.... what ever it may be.
A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a 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 him, so he took the bag with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw 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 the cracked ball was a beautiful, precious stone!
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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 20 or so clay balls 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 balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. He kicked himself for throwing away those jewels and just going home with the ones he had left.
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 discard 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 their hidden treasure within them .
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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 bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.