A couple of years ago, I wrote a short blog post called “There Be Treasures in them Beaches!” You may have thought, “Is he talking about buried pirate treasures?” Not quite. I was writing of the treasures found on the beaches of the Jersey Shore.
The article is written in 2010 and it was about viewing people as treasures to be desired. In other words, each person is of value in the sight of God and to others. The only real way to discover the hidden treasure is this. Go talk with them.
Lately, I have heard of a show called “The Jersey Shore”. The main actress is a woman named Snooki. From what I’ve heard, Jersey Shore paints a bleak view of life at the Jersey Shore. Last season, the show took place in a house that’s located near a bar in a very rough area of Seaside Height.
I am told the Jersey Shore painted life in Seaside Height, as bleak and hopeless. It’s no wonder Snooki left Seaside Height for a more quiet area in Manchester, NJ. Who wouldn’t? In reality, the actress was pregnant and needed a quieter place, to care for the baby.
As for Seaside Height, it is far from the bleak and hopeless place depicted in the show, The Jersey Shore.Yes, the area is rough and there are many hurting people living there. Yet, I can say there are many wonderful treasures to be found there.
The view depicted on Jersey Shore is in his view is in sharp contrast to how God, the Father sees us. God sees human beings, as treasures or precious pearls. Here is what Jesus says:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. [Matt 13:44-46]
In God’s eyes, each person is of incredible worth and value. This includes Snooki and the cast of the Jersey Shore. We are so valued that God is willing to pay a high price for us. There is more.
When the Israelites were being sent into 70 years of captivity in Babylon. It would have been quite easy to mimicked the views held by the cast of the Jersey Shore. Normally, this would have been justified. They honestly thought that it was the end of the road.
However, it was not the end of the road. God had a different view on the situation and it was not a bad one. Here is what God told Jeremiah in Jer 29:10-14:
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Did you see the parts that I placed bold types on? In spite of the situation, Israel is to have hope and could look to a very real future. God isn’t the only one to have this view. Jeremiah apparently saw things, in the same way.
I could choose to see the world; as per the Jersey Shore. If so, I would not have much hope for the future. I certainly would not see the treasures inside each person. Even worse, I would not be of any help to anyone. Our beliefs can potentially influence our responses to various situations.
On the other hand, I could choose to see with eyes of hope. With such eyes, we do not see the world in a bleak and hopeless fashion. With such eyes, one is apt to say”How can we change this?” You can’t do this, with a bleak view and expect positive results. Eyes of hope does not ignore the problem; rather it says “Let’s change things through prayers and actions!”