Look Beyond the Exterior To See The True Beauty Inside

Beauty is more than skin deep

I am a camper at heart whether it be in a tent, a pop-up camper or a big fancy camper. My camping memories go all the way back to my childhood. But I will always remember when I bought my first pop-up camper – a true beauty.

Pop-up Camper

I had been looking through the newspapers for something I could afford and one Sunday, I struck gold and found the one for me. My daughter and I drove forty miles the following Saturday afternoon, took one look at this beauty and handed the seller $400.

I know what you’re thinking

“What kind of camper do you get for $400?”

That’s a fair question and one that deserves an answer.

Think big picture

I ask you to consider the big picture. You have to see the potential in the things that are not so pretty, and this was one of them. This camper was ugly and a bit rough-looking, but $400 later it was mine, all mine. My new camper had all the makings for a great memory maker for my daughter and me.

My new baby is coming home

We hooked the camper up to my minivan, and away we went, traveling back home that evening. I had never towed a thing in my life, so this was a new experience. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous, especially on the major highway.

The sun was going down and the night was fast approaching.  The longer I drove, the more confident I felt driving in the dark with my new camper in tow.

We tend to overlook small problems when excited about new toys

As I was making my way down the highway, I noticed one small problem – the camper lights weren’t working. Despite hooking the light harness to my van, the lights wouldn’t work.

Cheap things aren’t good, and good things aren’t cheap

For $400, I got a camper with four wheels, a top, and a bed. Working lights was an upgrade I didn’t pay for I suppose. By the grace of God, we managed to make it home safely that evening.

Can’t wait to play with my new toy

The next day we hurried home from church. I couldn’t wait to open up my new camper and marvel at its luxurious inside. Honestly, the interior needed a lot of work, but remember I’m looking at potential.

With pop-up campers, you have to crank them up by turning the handle located in the front of the camper. As you turn the handle, the pop-up camper opens up and expands, hence the word “pop-up.”

I slowly cranked the camper all the way up, pulled the beds out and climbed in. Standing there, I marveled at the potential and imagined all the sights and smells of the outdoors as I stared out the windows of my new camper. The apartment building looked like a forest. The cars looked like rocks, and the road was dusty and lined with tall grass.

Joy only comes in the morning

When the evening came, I decided to close it back up. So I started reversing the crank to lower the top down. It started down and then all of a sudden one side stopped moving, while the other side continued down. Uh oh!

I reversed directions which sent the other side back up, hoping both sides would now come down together.  After a half hour of going up and down and growing more frustrated which each turn of the crank, I realized my new-found love was not going to work properly.

The camper looked like it could catch any wind that came along. My camper looked like a sail on a boat. I didn’t have a clue of what to do to fix the problem.  Little did I know, the cable system broke in the process of raising the top, hence the reason for the lopsided look.

Pop-up campers
Picture of the cable system

I need professionals

On Monday morning, I towed the camper to the nearest RV repair place 30 miles west of my apartment. Now picture this – I am driving on a busy six-lane highway just after rush hour, but still very busy, at 35 miles per hour, all the way to the RV place. I couldn’t drive any faster because the side that wouldn’t go down was the very side that riding into the wind. If I drove any faster, the top could potentially be ripped away from the force of the wind and cause a significant accident.

After a painstaking, long journey, which was embarrassing I might add, I finally arrived at the RV repair place. I pulled into the parking lot and drove to the repair bay. Two guys were standing outside the repair bay looking excited to meet me and my camper.

I got out of my van and approached them, eager to get the repair started.

Guess what they said

“Lady, you need to tow that thing to the back of our lot, drop it off, and go inside and buy yourself a brand new camper. That camper isn’t worth a $100 or the repair bill you’re going to incur for us to fix it. I would even say it can’t be fixed.” The two guys laughed at me as they walked away sure they were making a new sale.

There I stood with my broken dream camper, feeling defeated and deflated.

I have good news

Unlike the two guys at the RV repair place, Jesus never rejects us. He takes us as we are, repairs us, loves us, rubs out the dents and sets us back up again. It doesn’t matter how bad we look, how dirty we are or were. Jesus doesn’t care what color we are. He came for everyone. The Savior of the world loves you and me dearly.

Let’s pray

Father God, thank you for accepting us the way we are right now. Thank you for molding and shaping us to be more like you. Even when we’re stuck Lord, you still gather around us and love us despite ourselves. Thank you, God. In Your Son’s name, I pray, Amen.

In His Service
Jeanette Duby, The Teaching Lady

#popupcamper #beauty #Jesus #camping #tentcamping

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