Treasure in Scratched, Nicked and Marred! by Jo Russell

“The movers will be here tomorrow to pack and load our family’s stuff, Jamey, so get your toys together. We need to do everything ahead of time to help because Dad has to be at work getting ready for his new job.”

“How do you want me to help?” the seven-year-old wanted to know.

“Maybe you could put the toys in the toy box and the dolls in the cradle.


When the movers showed up with a truck that looked to Jamey about as big as the living room, the girl was astonished.

But the two men weren’t. One popped gum as he twirled a pen over a clipboard. Both wore dark baseball caps pulled low over their foreheads. This was everyday stuff for them.

They started in the bedrooms, with one recording the items as they both packed up.

“One doll cradle, scratched, nicked and marred, full of worn-out dolls.”

Jamey felt offended. Well-loved dolls.

“One twin bed with wooden headboard and foot board. Scratched, nicked and marred.”

Every piece of furniture in every room she could heard them calling out, “Scratched, nicked and marred! Scratched, nicked and marred! One set of bunk beds, scratched, nicked and marred.”

When the movers got to the dining room, Jamey expected another tune. For the old oak table was surrounded by new chairs. She expected them to have respect for the pieces.  After all, her mother had bought them one at a time one a month since summer.

But as they lifted the newest edition, one called out, “Solid maple captain’s chair, scratched nicked and marred!”

Jamey ran to her mom to ask, “Mom, doesn’t ‘scratched, nicked and marred’ mean ‘crummy?’”

“Maybe. Who’s asking?’

“The movers. They even called your newest chair ‘scratched, nicked and marred!’”

“Well, the stuff has been used a lot.”

“Whoa! That means the movers think our whole house and all our stuff is crummy!”

Jesus has a different take on “Scratched, nicked and marred.” He didn’t choose the rich, famous, community movers and shakers, or those in high places for his work. Just the opposite. When he started his ministry, he chose fishermen from one of more than two dozen fishing villages along the Sea of Galilee. Though their profession gave them plenty of practice with hard, physical labor, entrepreneurship, and rotating shifts through all kinds of weather, they were simple men with simple lives. With their base of experience, no one would have expected them to do anything else.

But Jesus did. He planned for them to teach and speak about the Son of God as Messiah, his miracles, and God’s teachings. “’Come follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” [Matthew 4:19-20]

God has a job for everyone who follows him, including the scratched, nicked and marred. Never are we crummy. Scratched, nicked and marred? Why, God counts it a sign of character and worth!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]