The priest on his homily tells a story of a wealthy, beautiful and smart woman who married a womanizer. Over the years the husband repeatedly broke the woman’s heart and eventually tears the marriage apart. She then became bitter and revengeful even to the family where she came from who loved her unconditionally. The priest then labeled her as a damaged good knowing her roots and what she was once. One day in her rebellion, she found someone who loves her for what she is, a damaged good.
While listening to the priest I cannot help but think of myself as a damaged one. I knew I was created good but past experiences and some of the choices I made set to the fire the inherent nature that lies within. Pondering at the mess I have created made it easier for me to identify with what the priest was talking about. I am a damaged good as well.
Then I remember the deformed carrots and unbundled turnips I bought at a bargain price. The seller considered both as damaged good because the tip of the carrots was formed like that of an index finger and a thumb while the turnips were put on the basin separated from those displayed in bundles. Good looking carrots and bundled turnips are attracting to the eyes and sold at a price.
But lesser cost does not always mean lesser value for me. I knew that this bunch of veggies when peeled and cut will serve their purpose on the menu. No one would care what they look like before they become ingredients. You do not need Economics 101 to guess how I feel after the dish is served.
Going back to the priest story, he said that the man who falls in love with that damaged woman made her return to her original state. His transforming love made her realized what she really was. She gets out of her bitter state and comes back to the beautiful woman she used to be. After a while, they decided to live together and continue to nurture each other.
“Of course,” the priest said, “they probably would still argue and fight and so on but the fact is that the woman found her worth again and she was given the chance to enjoy life once more.”
I cannot remember the point of his story to the gospel that Sunday. I just wish they will have a beautiful ending. I think most of us are a damaged good in the eyes of God over and over again. But like the story and my turnips and carrots including myself, there were damaged goods valuable on their own. Sometimes we only need to see and help them come out. God can extract value even in the worst of us.
In a nutshell, I realized some of this damaged good can become part of something that would not be complete without them. They can become a blessing in disguise or a gift to unfold. At times they can give us significance we could never find anywhere else. If they will be given the opportunity, they can serve what they are created for and make us see what really matters after all.