A Diamond in the Rough. One Spring, sometime before the Civil War, a boy in search of work came to Worthy Taylor's prosperous Ohio farm. The farmer knew nothing much about the boy except that his name was Jim, but he gave him a job. Jim spent the winter cutting stovewood, bringing in the cows and making himself generally useful. He ate in the kitchen and slept in the hayloft.

Before the summer was over, Jim had fallen in love with Taylor's daughter. When the father refused to let him marry her--he had no money, no name, and very poor prospects--Jim put his belongings in his old carpet bag and disappeared. Thirty-five years passed before Taylor one day pulled down his barn to make way for a new one. On the rafters above the hayloft he discovered that Jim had carved his full name--James A. Garfield. He was then president of the United States.

People may look at us and think there's not much hope--no money, no name, very poor prospects. But Jesus comes along and sees a diamond in the rough. He sees possibilities for all who will submit to Him. Christ saw in the flawed life of Levi (the tax collector), a Matthew, whose names means "gift of God." Jesus believed people could change. He looked at Levi and saw an apostle. He looked at the tax collector and saw the author of the first Gospel. And thanks be to God that He sees in us what no one else sees. He can take our flawed lives and make something meaningful and useful of them.

--Allan Eldridge, Pitman, NJ, church bulletin

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, Mar/Apr 97