DAMAGED GOODS
by Nick Sammons

I banged up one of my favorite boards a few months ago on the rocks in North LA. I was surfing my custom shaped 9’4” Dyer Brand, and committed to being one of the cool kids who logs with no leash. I lost my board after getting caught behind a section. It was also the first of a set of about four good waves, and I watched in horror as my board shot all the way inside, up onto the rocks, and bounced up and down the rocks with each set wave that followed. I had collected three big gashes in the top deck, one in the bottom, and banged up rails all around. I wasn’t even sure if the board could be salvaged.

A friend and I spent the better part of an afternoon going to work on it, knifing out the broken sections down to the foam, carefully sanding down the edges, filling, glassing, and sanding again. I didn’t even bother with the color matching; I figured I’d keep some memento of all the labor.

My first trial run was on a fun day out at Swami’s near my home. Not one to easily learn a lesson, I paddled out again without a leash. The board felt great; but after about an hour of fun waves, I sure enough came detached again, and watched the board roll inside toward the reef. I realized as I rushed to retrieve my board, that I actually cared even more for it after all the time put into restoring it. I didn’t think of it as damaged goods or something that didn’t matter because it had been broken. It wasn’t worth less to me because the previous damage, it was worth more because what I had spent to make it like new again. And as I swam, I realized in that moment that this is how God thinks of us. He certainly doesn’t see us as damaged goods. He doesn’t define us like we might define ourselves, by our past failures and mistakes. He sees us, as scripture tells us, as “bought with a price” and “children of God.” I can’t think of anything more valuable than the life of the only perfect man, God in human flesh. Jesus has gone to such lengths to save us and restore us. We must find our identity and our worth there!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor 5:17