The little girl gleamed with joy as she walked through the winding path of her hilly home, almost flying, for in that morning she felt particularly lighter than her weight. Yes! Unspeakable joy can do that. She was excited about moving to the city, starting a brand new life. Her looks, dirty clothes, or even her ashy skin had no chance of taming her jolly mood. She almost looked like a floating lily as she moved through the long and dew-coated grass, her peach and white striped dress announcing her presence. As soon as the road was in sight, she ran and sat on the guard rail, waiting for her uncle to pick up a few things from the relatives’ home, before they could board the taxi to their destination.

“Charlotte, are you heading to the city?” a familiar voice woke her from her daydream of what the city would look like.

“Yes!” she responded, with all her bright white teeth shining through, to reflect her innocent excitement. Her moment was momentarily dulled by the next statements she had from the woman that had interrupted her daydream.

“People that look like you do not go to the city. Your dress is too dirty! Didn’t uncle see it? You should first go back and wash, then you can go next time.”

The little girl’s eyes dimmed, and she hang her head in shame for a moment, wondering whether her uncle would soon realize her dress was dirty and leave her behind, since it is the only dress she had. That peach and white striped dress was so dear to her because it was the only church going, school going and visiting dress; it was her magic and all time go-to dress for any nice place she had to go.

She had quietly drifted off into thinking about how her uncle might change his mind and leave her, when another voice called her back to reality;

“Let’s go. The taxi is here,” said her uncle as he picked her from the guard rail where she had sat for about thirty minutes. Off to the city they went, and she knew there was no turning back. Uncle carried his little girl, about ten years old, throughout the journey that lasted about eight hours, only putting her down when a stop was made to rest and pick up a snack.

Life in the city had begun! Shopping for new dresses started, the first pair of shoes was acquired, the ashy skin had body jelly to nourish it, and life was a lot better. Not to say that there weren’t some hard times, but those were ignorable in comparison to the good ones.

“People like you are not worthy, are outcasts, aren’t supposed to, can’t…” is a statement of judgement that we often encounter. Sometimes it is used indirectly with words like “if only you/he/she knew who that person really is!” such words are used to discredit, belittle and shame the person being described.

Has anyone somehow implied that “people like you” aren’t worthy of God’s love, mercy, compassion and all the blessings? Ignore their thoughts or words and let’s take a trip to God’s view about you, shall we?

The book of Luke7:36-50 presents to us a Pharisee who invited Jesus Christ to his home for meal, and a sinful woman that anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume, after washing them with her tears and wiping them with her hair. Outstanding in this passage is the way both the Pharisee and Jesus view the woman. Simon, the Pharisee discredits her in his thoughts with, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39). Truly, she was sinner, but again, who is without any sin? No one!

Jesus begins to plead the case of the woman but first, he teaches an example of two debtors that were both forgiven, one having a greater debt than the other. On asking for his view, the Pharisee says that the one forgiven a bigger debt will love more, to which Jesus says, “You have judged correctly.” He goes on to point out the Pharisee’s shortcomings vis-à-vis the woman’s strengths. In the end, the woman who walked into the house with judgement and the burden of sin, left a forgiven woman, with an added blessing of peace! And in that day, I believe, the Pharisee learnt about his imperfections.

See how God can change trash into treasure? Yes, you have some treasure within you, it just takes the right person or even people to discover it and elevate it to shine brighter than your flaws.

I tell you what? Am glad uncle saw beyond that little girl’s flaws and gave her a chance. God further looked beyond her sinfulness and keeps cleaning her up, buying her new spiritual shoes, and today she is telling you her story, letting you know that you can beat the odds; that little girl was me.

YES! “People like you” and I can go places, are worthy, are loved and can do great things, given a chance by people and God, above all.

Article By Charlotte Fiona Namanya

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