Corduroy, Lisa, and Jesus

“And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

One of my favorite books to read to our children when they were younger was Corduroy. It’s a classic, short story about a stuffed bear who lives in a department store who is looking for someone to purchase him and take him home.

One little girl named Lisa saw Corduroy and really wanted to buy him. Her mother wouldn’t let her because she noticed that he had lost a button. So they left him on the shelf.

Most of the story is Corduroy trying to fix himself. He tries to find his lost button and ends up just making more of a mess of his life. In the end, he goes back to his familiar shelf in the corner of the toy department, hoping to be found.

The ending of the story is so moving! (Spoiler alert… just kidding.) Here’s how the author puts it:

Corduroy was just waking up when the first customers came into the store in the morning. And there, looking at him with a wide, warm smile, was the same little girl he’d seen only the day before. “I’m Lisa,” she said, “and you’re going to be my very own bear. Last night I counted what I’ve saved in my piggy bank and my mother said I could bring you home.”

Lisa purchased Corduroy with her own money, took him to her home, made a bed for him right beside her bed and then she even sewed a new button on his overalls. She said: “I like you the way you are, but you’ll be more comfortable with your shoulder strap fastened.”

Corduroy was hoping to be found, and that’s exactly what happened. Lisa found him, purchased him, fixed him and took him home.

Lisa is amazing, right? Lisa sounds a lot like the way the Gospels describe Jesus. Jesus is constantly looking for broken people — people who feel unloved or unwanted or full of shame — and what does he do? He goes right to them! In fact, it often got him in trouble with the religious leaders of his day. In one place in the Gospels, the religious people were so angry with Jesus because he hung out with broken people like the tax collectors and sinners and they called him out for it and Jesus responded, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I wonder if sometimes you look at yourself like Corduroy did and all you see is a broken button. A broken button of a personality or you don’t like the way you look or feel about yourself or you compare yourself to others.

I want you to know that Jesus sees you. He knows you. And He loves you. In fact, He came into this world to be with you, to heal you, and to take you home to him. That’s the Gospel! We can never fix ourselves. But Jesus came into this world to heal us, give us hope, and take us home!

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