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“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”  (Anaïs Nim)

We base the worth of people on who we reduce them down to being, or who we lift them up to being, according to what is in our own hearts.  Luke 7:47 tells the  story of a Pharisee named Simon, who invited Jesus to eat at his house, but neglected to extend him the customary courtesy of washing his feet, or anointing his head with oil, or offering him the kiss of greeting,  contrasted with  a “woman who was a sinner,” who lavished tears, expensive perfume, and kisses upon her Savior’s feet.  After inwardly criticizing Jesus for associating with this “woman who was a sinner,” Jesus, knowing Simon’s heart, said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.  Two men owed money to a certain moneylender.  One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both.  Now which of them will love him more?”  Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”  Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.  Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Only those who fully realize the depth of their sin can fully appreciate the depth of God’s grace.  Simon couldn’t see the woman as she really was, because he saw her as he was.  He saw her out of the judgmental eye of his own self-righteousness, and because of this he reduced her to being beneath him in worth.  But Jesus looked past the outside appearance of the woman and saw what was in her heart.  In I Samuel 16:7 God’s word tells us, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  The saying, “I feel like a $20 dog on a thousand dollar rug,” is the expression of someone who fully realizes and appreciates that they have been given more in life than they deserve.  It makes no difference, when it comes to God’s grace, whether a person was once extremely wicked or has always been conventionally good.  When it comes down to it, we are all just two dogs on a rug.  (This poem is dedicated to a good ‘ole dog named Roxy.)



Two dogs in life were born one day
One a purebred, one a stray
Left to himself, he had lost his way
The other, a purebred, had only been hand-fed
Bought at the pet store, carried through life’s door
Never had to fight to survive through the night
Or search and scrape for the food on his plate
He lies snug as a bug on a thousand dollar rug
Bought at the pet store, carried through life’s door
Into the lap of luxury
He never ventured out to know what life was about
He’s safe and secure, clean and pure
A life of ease, free of fleas
And you can just bet he’s a loyal pet
Who would never, ever stray
From resting cozy and sweet at his Master’s feet
’cause he’s never known any other way

And then there’s the stray with no place to stay
No open door, no rug on the floor
No warm cozy bed to lay his head
No life of comfort, no life of ease
No life of leisure just to do as you please
Bought for $20 from a cardboard box
And thrown into a cage with a metal lock
Had a cruel master with a heavy hand
Kept on a leash with a metal band
He’s scraggly and smelly and covered with fleas
Not a pretty sight to see

Then one day while walking at his Master’s feet
The purebred and stray happened to meet
The purebred felt a little ill at ease
At the thought of being exposed to all those fleas
But the Master knelt down and picked up the stray
Carried him home that very day
Gave him food from off his plate
Stroked his head as he hungrily ate
Washed away all his fleas and cradled him upon his knees
And then he placed him snug-as-a-bug
Upon a thousand dollar rug

Cozy and sweet, his life now complete
He’s lying at his Master’s feet
He’s a twenty dollar dog on a thousand dollar rug
And you can just bet he’s a loyal pet
Who would never, ever stray
From resting cozy and sweet at his Master’s feet
’cause he’s known the other way

The purebred dog will never know
What the twenty dollar mutt’s been through
’cause to be a twenty dollar mutt you have to pay your dues
But by God’s grace, they’re both in the same place
Just like me and you!

Some people are purebred and only been hand-fed
Others are strays with no place to stay
We all need a Master to carry us home
Someone to love us when we’re all alone
We all need someone to wash away our fleas
To gently be cradled upon someone’s knees
We all need lives that are complete
Just sitting at our Master’s feet
We all need someone to open the door
And offer us a nice cozy rug on the floor

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


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