The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:14-15 (NIV)
This weekend was my first craft show as a “vendor.” My friend owns a landscape company and nursery. She decided to boost business by hosting a spring sale with crafts people, produce stands and garden suppliers. Patty asked me to bring outdoor items, wind chimes, sun catchers, and tiles. She wanted them to be lower priced as most people would not be looking for art, but just little knick knacks to beautify their gardens. She gave me two big bins of stained glass that she bought at a yard sale so I didn’t have to invest much into materials. But, as the sale approached, I began to resent the time that it took to prepare for it. I really enjoy the design and artistic side of creating glass pieces, but just cranking out tray after tray of sun catchers or hanging glass strips to dangle from drift wood quickly got to be boring. What I was doing was not pretty. It held no interest for me, and I found no joy in putting it together. I did it because I had to. I priced everything as low as I could. With no cost in materials, only my time mattered. On the first day of the show, I set up my stands and laid out my work. There were only a few things I was really proud of and I did not think that they would sell. I left most of the things I really loved doing at home because I could not put a value on them and besides Patty had said bring things that would sell cheaply. The first day of the sale was a weekday and not many people came. I sold two pieces, two that I loved and was proud of, to two other vendors who scolded me for my low prices. They said that people don’t look for cheap things; they think they are of too little value to notice. Instead, the higher priced items seem more valuable and appealing. The next day I found that to be true selling about $175 worth of work. Only the things I loved and had priced accordingly sold. The little sun catchers and cheaply made wind chimes did not even get a second glance, but I sold almost all of my plates, bowls and beaded necklaces. I learned an important lesson. If I love it and have fun creating it, others will see that and want my art. If I put a high value on it, it will be valued as well. I also learned not to try to create what others dictate, but to follow my heart and dreams. It made me think about how God determines the worth of each of us, and he looks beyond our exterior to our hearts. If I want to be found of value to Him, I must carry the qualities He highly regards: love, kindness, mercy, and grace. I won’t make any more junk because God doesn’t make any either.