he world is full of damaged goods. But just because an item is damaged, does it mean that it has no longer has value? The term “damaged goods” has been used to describe people, places and things. The Urban Dictionary gives the following definitions: 1) Item/s that were expected to be in good (if not brand new) condition, but were discovered eventually that they weren't. 2) Someone who was once healthy and/or normal but isn't any more due to unfortunate, traumatic events in his/her life (i.e. physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse).
If you look in Dictionary.com “damaged goods is defined as 1) a person considered to be less than perfect psychologically, as a result of a traumatic experience 2) a person, especially a public figure, whose reputation has been damaged. Have you ever received damaged goods due to poor packaging, bad handing or rough transportation?
What becomes of the damaged? In the retail world one of several solutions are offered. When an item is returned to a store, the purchaser either is given a replacement or is given a refund provided they have proof of purchase. If the store cannot put the item back on the shelf as new they may either file an insurance claim or sell the item at a discounted rate to recover their costs.
On many occasions when I visit my favorite Walgreens, I stop by the back corner of the store which contains the items that have been greatly discounted. I can almost always find something I am looking for such as hair products, cosmetics, technical gadgets other miscellaneous items. If you ask an employee, they will tell you that those are the items that were overstocked, on the shelves too long, returned or close to their expiration date that had to be discounted. In the grocery store I occasionally visit, there is always a basket at the front and the back of the store full of items. Some stores will label the basket as last chance or “damaged goods.”
Damaged does not always mean useless. The concept of outlet malls originated as a way to dispose of excess or damaged goods. Bargain shoppers regularly go on treasure hunts at discount stores looking for great deals and one of a kind item. Have you ever purchased something from a discount store or a scratch or dent store? Have you ever purchased something that had been discounted because someone else had returned it to the store and now it is labeled as an “open box” item?
There are stores that specifically sell items that have been damaged in some type of way.
Typically the damage is minimal, but cannot be sold at full price. There are even times when we find something that we must have but there is slight damage to it. We will not hesitate to ask the sales clerk or the manager if they will take something off of the price to account for the impairment. When the buyer purchases the damaged item, they have full disclosure of the blemish and want it anyway.
Living in this world we often experience the trials and tribulations of life that often wound us and leave us impaired physically, spiritually and emotionally. Have you been damaged? What is the source of your injury? Was it caused by physical or mental illness, broken relationships, sexual history, divorce, depression, financial issues, or sin? Do you have physical and emotional scars that leave you feeling less than whole? Perhaps life has not turned out the way you wanted it to. Have you ever felt like a second class citizen or felt like “damaged goods” because of your life experiences?
Bear in mind that damage does not have to mean broken and not capable of being repaired. Just like damaged cans may contain items that are still good, our damaged lives can be restored. God specializes in restoring hope, peace and confidence. The Bible verse found in Isaiah 61:2-3 (CEV) promises us that the Lord sends comfort to those who mourn and will give flowers in place of their sorrow, olive oil in place of tears, and joyous praise in place of broken hearts. Psalm 34:18 CEV reads, “The Lord is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope.
If you have ever felt damaged beyond repair, there is hope. God has a record of taking damaged lives and transforming them to be useful for Him. Consider the woman at the well who felt hopeless and insecure because of her marital history. Reflect upon individuals in the Bible such as Moses, Abraham and David who could have been considered damaged goods after they failed God miserably. Each one of them was forgiven and are remembered for their accomplishments not their failures. We too have the promise found in Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.”
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach