All it’s worth: Why Pawn stars makes me love Jesus

If you are anything like me (and by that I mean, if you are a human), you find yourself strangely drawn to those shows. You know the ones I am talking about. Those shows where people bring in their junk and there’s the possibility that someone will tell them it is actually a treasure worth an unbelievable amount of money. My fascination with these shows began where I think we all began: the old Antiques Roadshow. Call me a nerd, but there was something about it right? You can’t help but root for those people. The sweet old lady with her great grandfather’s porcelain cat collection, the bitter husband who’s wife dragged him there with 5 thingamabobs from their attic, the college student

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who really didn’t want her mom’s treasured matching lamp set. You want them to find that these things they didn’t believe in are actually worth far more than what they’d ever imagined. So you sit and you watch, and you cheer when it happens.

And then, there’s the other side of the coin. When you sit there hoping but those people are told that their trash is not treasure at all…it’s just…trash.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Pawn Stars (yes, I’ve upgraded from Antiques Roadshow) with my good friend Alex Peffer and his family. When Alex came into the room and saw we were watching it, he slumped down and said, “I hate this show.It makes me feel bitter. These people come in thinking they have something great or valuable… and they always leave disappointed.”

Well, that was really sad, but I kind of shrugged it off and went back to being hopeful for this older man who had come in with a poem he said was handwritten by Jimi Hendrix. Now, when we saw this, it looked really cool. I mean, can you imagine?! A LOST poem, handwritten by Jimi Hendrix on a piece of notebook paper. SICK. So, he brings it in and they all admire it. He reads the poem aloud and because it’s Jimi Hendrix, the words sound more beautiful than they would have had they been written by someone else. He explains how he’d worked with family members of Jimi and they’d given him the poem as a gift. It had always been one of his prized possessions. Now of course, the pawn shop owners mention how he has to get his guy to come in and verify it’s authenticity. If it is authentic, it will be worth upwards of 15 thousand dollars. The man agrees to return the next day when the expert can come in.


So they come back and the handwriting/historical expert (actually, his title was Forensic Document Specialist…HOW DO YOU GET THAT JOB?!) takes a look at the poem. And bit by bit, he starts to (not so gently), tear this man’s hope apart.

“Well, the way the i’s are written are different than what I’ve seen. The signature is the same size as the poem and usually Jimi’s would be at least 3 times the size. It’s written in felt tip pen.. Jimi tended to use ball point pens. You have no documents indicating it’s authenticity…I’m sorry but I am 100% sure this is not the real thing.”

And the camera panned to the man’s face.

And I suddenly understood everything that Alex was saying.

Because the man looked as though he was fighting heaven and earth not to be moved to tears by this jarring news. He was attempting to cling to the hope that it was real, that this treasure he possessed wasn’t just some secondhand trash. He said through a choked up voice, “Well I’m sorry I disagree with you. This has meant a lot to me and my family for a long time and nothing you say is going to change that.” But his face was conveying something very different.

So yes, I was sad and maybe a little bitter at the show for stealing something precious from that man. And then I got kinda sad in general, thinking about how the world loves to tell us what we’re worth. “You’re good at this, you have this, you are this. This makes you valuable, this makes you not valuable.” If you have this friend, or this shoe, or this talent…then you get the golden nod, the extra cash, you get rewarded with stars and banners and acceptance. But if your aren’t as pretty or as put together or as nice or as qualified, then you’re out, you’re a loser, everyone is 100% sure you’re not worth a thing.

And that’s in our nature isn’t it? That’s the reason I like these shows, right? I don’t necessarily care about the history or the facts or why it is the way it is…just tell me what it’s WORTH. Tell me the value; what good is it TO ME? And that’s earthly thinking. God’s thinking is not my thinking. His ways are so much higher than our ways. Because if we’re going to God’s roadshow, he will look at every one of us and say we are worth it. Not because of our accomplishments, or shoes, or friends, or gifts, but because of who he is. Every person that walks into God’s pawn shop, leaves with something far beyond what they’d hoped .

We come to God with trash and rubbish: weird knick knacks tucked in our closets and attics, boxes of our failures and missteps, little trinkets of our vices and addictions. We carry in the things we’ve kept hidden under floorboards and our favorite idols from the mantle. We dump our stuff at his feet asking him what we’re worth, and the answer is always the same:

“My love.”

And that’s why I love Jesus. Because he is the incarnation of God’s love. Jesus gives inherent value to things .He takes our trash and makes it a treasure. And no matter what the document forensic crazy man says, or what price tag facebook rate posts put on you, Jesus’ love still stands. No matter how many experts tell you you’re going nowhere or that they are 100% certain you don’t have the skills, the face, the confidence, the grades to make it, Jesus still believes in you. Maybe that’s cliche but it’s true. You are worth everything to him simply because he loves you.

He loves you.

He loves you.

Just you. The you in the mirror before your makeup or your contact lenses. The you who can’t be the strong one all the time. The you who is broken. The you who is scared. The you that you see all the time and sometimes can’t stand. He loves that you. The you that walks into his workshop all torn up from the people who’ve pawned you off or told you’re too rusty, chipped, or broken to command a price. He sits you on his counter and looks at you with clear eyes–eyes that see the “you” you see, and the “you” you don’t. He puts a soft hand on your shoulder and chuckles, tousling your hair and welcoming you home. He says you’re worth all the love he’s given, and he wants you to know there’s more for you. So don’t settle for what the cheap worldly pawn shops want to give you. Surrender to him and he will do great and unsearchable things that you cannot even imagine yet.

Don’t you dare sell yourself short.










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