Why Beverly Hills?
In Revived Hope, Chris, Melanie’s ex-husband invites their teenaged daughter for lunch to … you got it, Beverly Hills. This annoys Melanie, and one of her faults is judging her ex-husband. And in the world’s eyes, rightfully so. After all, he abandoned her for a fast, and furious showy lifestyle before their daughter was even born. But Melanie realizes his need for Christ, so I hope you’ll read the book and engage Melanie in her change of heart. Although the transformation unfolds in Shattered Guilt, Book 1, you’ll begin to see God’s gentle mercy roll out in this prequel.
Who’s being judgy?
Melanie’s mom, Patricia makes this confession, and I confess it’s been mine too. This scene made me think of the book of James, where the bible speaks of partiality. You know, the verse that talks about favoring the rich, and slighting the poor?
But I’m guilty of taking it the other way, as are many of us. Aren’t we naturally drawn to those who appear down and out and alone? Our mission-minded, church has sent numerous people and teens on mission trips all over the impoverished world, but when one teen felt called to Mallorca, Spain, I doubted his sincerity. Still, I trusted that God would use him, and I supported him, but I was judgy while doing it, and I’m embarrassed to admit my sin. Often in the past, when I saw someone expensively dressed, and extremely well-groomed I looked the other way. They have it all, right? What do they need that I could possibly give them? The gospel, that’s what I should have considered sharing. They just may need Jesus too, Remember Zacchaeus?
Sparkle and Bling!
Back to Beverly Hills. I’ve lived most of my life in Southern California, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I visited the most famous city in LA County. I wasn’t even aware that tourists from out of state and the country would go there to snap pictures and gawk at the people, buildings, and shops.
Why? Because the rich and famous weren’t even on my radar. Although truth be told, I screamed out loud once when Vince Ferragamo (my favorite LA Rams Quarterback at one time) called our house (it was business) asking for my husband! So, I guess I’m in denial there.
But it wasn’t until my daughter, and her family moved to LA that the world of sparkle and bling opened up for me. When my son-in-law joined the Beverly Hills Firefighters, after working as a carpet cleaning technician for years, they moved into a humble little apartment in LA, across the street from Beverly Hills, literally.
When my daughter and son-in-law first moved there, they had two small children (three now) and only one car, so she took lots of long walks. And I do mean looong! She’s a bit of the inspiration for Melanie’s character. Remember the Beach Trail in yesterday’s blog? She’s the jogger. So, with a double stroller off she went, exploring all over Beverly Hills. When she finally coaxed me into sightseeing, I was reluctantly amazed. The extravagance of Rodeo Drive even made me laugh. Thankfully, indulgence like that wasn’t my addiction, so I enjoyed marveling at the shops, the buildings, and all the free perks the city offered.
Besides Rodeo Drive, we visited the City Hall, my granddaughter calls it her Princess Castle, the Public Library, it’s like a mansion filled with books. And so many other interesting places I’ve never heard of before. And besides the buildings, there were people—every fancy, shape, size, and style.
I was convicted that some of those residents and tourists may be lost. And like Chris, they need Jesus. And what greater sorrow can we feel toward someone than knowing they may perish and never know or experience the glory of God. It’s how I should look at everyone. I need to see the soul and not the sorrowful outside. Only God can give me that heart, and he has.
When I show partiality in my thinking, I harbor it in my heart, and I need a heart change. Instead of seeing the rich and famous, I must see the poor in spirit and the unknown in faith, and I ask God for their eyes and hearts to open to Him and for Him to save them, too.
That’s why Beverly Hills. It pretends to be perfect, but it’s not. Yet, it’s beautiful, and it’s fun, and for whatever reason, God has allowed it to thrive. The parks are gorgeous, the hotel grounds are welcoming, and a few little restaurants are slightly affordable and delicious. Oh! And free events are every weekend! Car shows, Holiday extravaganzas, and picture-taking opportunities will blow you away. Even the main Beverly Hills Fire Station downtown, where my son-in-law works, has Open Houses that your kids and grandkids will marvel at. My house never comes close to sparkling like the floors in their station.
If you live in California, or come for a visit, treat yourself to a surreal, fun experience and enjoy Beverly Hills. You don’t need to take the double-decker bus tour, and you can park in a public garage near Rodeo Drive and start walking. It’s fun, interesting, but just like every other place you go, the people need Jesus. So pray for the lost, even in Beverly Hils.
Thanks for joining me On Location. I know today’s trip may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It wasn’t mine, but you just might gain a new perspective for praying for the lost. Beverly Hills is a fun place to visit, and I look forward to going back for a lovely day out. Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting a site that oozes nostalgia. Hope to see you there.
For today’s giveaway, please enter for a chance to win a Beverly Hills Firefighter T-Shirt! There may be a slight variation from the picture above, but you can pick the size, and if not for you, I’m sure you have a child or grandchild who would love it! Also with this giveaway, another signed copy of Revived Hope, so please click on the link below. Have a blessed day!