Several years ago, when I worked as a Merchandiser in supermarkets and grocery stores, I kept empty carton boxes to place bad goods in.
Products which were not suitable to be placed on the shelves for customers to purchase were kept in bad goods boxes.
At that time, I worked for a biscuit company, so biscuits and crackers which were damaged; whether slightly opened, with broken contents or otherwise, were considered bad goods and as such, were kept in an area around the back of the store to be written-off and refunded when the salesman came.
In a similar way, I think people saw me as bad goods, isolated and just waiting to be written off and disposed of. And, the truth is, part of me thought I was too. Much like the goods that were unfit to go on the shelves, I was not only damaged on the outside, but even more so, on the inside. My self-esteem was very low, and just a few years before that, I dropped out of high school and had a son whom I had to care and provide for, and without the requisite education qualifications, life was tough.
As I threw several packs of damaged crackers into the box, those that were already broken were further shattered and those which were not initially broken cracked, due to the pressure from the throw. Each broken cracker represented something that was broken in me, and how the pressures of life continued to break and further deteriorated my conditions.
Most people had already written me off, but I tried desperately to help myself and struggled to send myself back to school; I needed to provide a better life for myself and my son. But, the more I tried the more obstacles I faced, and most of the times I felt stuck, as I wrestled with the harsh realities of life. I experienced many difficulties; depression, loss, fear, anxiety and the no’s were so many, I thought the ingredients to produce yes were out of stock.
Years passed, and with no significant change with my situation; persons were reluctant to offer assistance, and I on my own could only do so much and no more. I finally decided and called on my Salesman, and of course, He answered.
He separated me from the accumulated debris and took me out of the box, removed the dusts and proceeded to take out all the crackers which were badly damaged and even the crumbs. He threw out depression, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, unworthiness, guilt, shame and abuse. He washed me, and handled me with great care; I felt like I was freshly baked.
Blessed and highly favoured, faith, hope, strength and courage, love and peace remained. But, as He was about to seal my wrapper, I noticed that a few crackers were not perfect and I was concerned; He said go and keep my Father’s words, be kind, be patient, forgive. He also told me to love our Father with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind and love my neighbour as myself, then He sealed me, scanned my barcode and placed me back on the shelf of life.
I am no perfect pack of crackers, so daily, I work on improving myself, I try to be more obedient, I love, I give and forgive, I appreciate and encourage, I study to show myself approved. I will not take for granted the sacrifices that He made for me, so while I am back on this shelf called life, I will help others in whatever ways I can, until the day my Purchaser comes.
You may be feeling like bad goods, at times you may feel as if there is no hope for you. People may treat you like damaged goods and do and say things which may further deteriorate your conditions. Call my Salesman, His name is Jesus, He is your Salesman too, and He is willing and able to restore those crackers that are broken in you.
Written by: Patrice Dawkins