Thursday, November 6, 2008

God's Measure - Getting out the Soap Box

I volunteer with Pregnancy Care Center. They provide free pregnancy tests, emotional support, counselling, education on options for unplanned pregnancies, a "Give Mom's Credit" program (they can "earn" Walmart money toward buying baby stuff), free maternity and baby clothes, free layettes, etc. They are there for pregnant women who might otherwise have nowhere to turn.

When we receive used clothing donations, it's our job to go through and discard whatever isn't in top shape. It's important that the clothes we have available for our clients be in like new condition - no stains, no tears, no over-washed look. So, at our last clothes sorting, we sat around and inspected the cute little bibs, onesies and sleepers. I admit, I don't sweat the small stuff. I've been known to bring my kids grocery shopping in mismatched socks with smashed carrots on their shirt sleeves. But, at work, I am professional! Now, what is "like new" for me, may not be "like new" for someone else, so there were quite a few times when one of us would hold up a little dress and ask, "Is this little stain on the collar noticeable?" or "Do you think this sleeper is too pilly?" When in doubt, throw it out.

This blog entry really isn't about stained clothes. It's about something deeper. What I came to realize during our keep or chuck session was that it didn't matter if there was baby barf stain all the way down a onesie, or if there was just a little discoloration on the sleeve. If it wasn't perfect, it didn't make the cut. Like us. It is so tempting to compare ourselves to the people around us. If we look hard enough, we'll always find someone who is a bigger liar, a lazier employee, a more disrespectful son/daughter...but that's not the issue. If we measure ourselves against the world's yardstick (or metre stick for us Canadian folk), we will never know exactly how tall we are because that measure is faulty. If we measure ourselves against God's yardstick, then there is no hiding our true measure.

One lie makes a person a liar, one murder makes a murderer, one theft makes a thief, one sin makes a sinner. One saviour makes us saved.

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