One of the first aisles I go to when visiting my fave place is the clearance aisle. I love, love, love looking for good deals, especially when I find something I know will look fabulous. It's like finding a little treasure in the middle of chaos!
Because we all know that when it comes to a store like TJ Maxx, patience and time are key ingredients to finding what you want.
Over the years, I've found several "as-is" items on the shelves of stores like Target, TJ, Stein Mart, Belk, and JCP. I even found an "as-is" table at Anthropologie, where I got a cute switch plate, and at Pottery Barn, where I found a king-size velvet comforter with silk trim for my bed (marked way down because someone had accidentally gotten red ink on the corner of it).
Of course, the things I've found have been nicked, scratched, marked on, or cracked, but usually I can see the beauty of how I can use it beyond the flaws and spots.
Sometimes I feel like I belong on the "as-is" shelf.
When I compare myself to the women beautiful enough to grace magazine covers and catalogs at any age, and I don't measure up.
When I wish for what I am not and do not have: longer legs, leaner torso, a graceful body.
When I look in the mirror and all I see are flaws and spots.
And my nicks and scratches are obvious: the scar I still have on my leg from the day I cut myself with a broken glass, the varicose veins that are starting (with no plans of going away), the wrinkles forming around my eyes, the gray hair I discovered a few months ago, the cellulite on my tummy, the freckles that make themselves at home on my shoulders when I wish I could tan.
I am "as-is", flaws and all.
But He thought I was worth paying a price for. He thought I was worth dying for. He thought I was worth proving that I am more than the labels I place on my own skin.
Even when I can't see the beauty that lies beyond my stains and smudges, He can.
Just like I can see the beauty in a velvet comforter with delicate silk trim, despite it's obvious red blemish.
I am a broken human being. We all are. And He can still use us, fill our soul, and turn what we see as unsightly into something beautiful.