For roughly three months, our Alabama home has been for sale. A handful of potential buyers have walked through the house. So far, no offers. After each showing, the buyer’s agent types up their clients’ reactions as feedback for us as sellers.

A new professor at Jacksonville State walked through our house. His realtor emailed us with comments. Blunt, unapologetic feedback. Some of it hurt, setting me back on my heels. But one remark in particular stood out from the others:

“The house looks ‘lived in.’”

After walking through our lived-in house he drove three blocks and put a contract on a house very similar to ours.

What was the difference? “It was pristine.”

“Pristine” is apparently a synonym for “walls without nail holes.”

My initial reaction to the feedback was one of disappointment and bitterness. A couple weeks have since passed, and I’ve cooled somewhat. In fact, now I think it’s kinda funny – somebody wanting a used house that doesn’t look lived in. I get it: We need to hire someone to Spackle nail holes, steam carpets, roll a fresh coat of paint on fingerprinted hallways.

In recent days I have pondered why the “lived-in” comment upset me, which led me to reflect on the tenderness of rejection. But I’m not referring to rejecting a house; sometimes people reject us.

Because we aren’t pristine.

Get to know me, hear my story, and you’ll quickly see that I’ve been lived in. I have a few nail holes where something pretty or noteworthy once hung but has since fallen. Sloppy Spackling where I’ve tried to hide. Stains underfoot.

Sadly, some people don’t buy lived-in.

Gladly, Jesus does.

This post is for my fellow, “lived-in” friends. Let’s take comfort in remembering that Jesus incarnated among the lived-in, for the lived-in, whom He wants to live in.

Good news, huh? I’ll close with this great grace: When it comes to real estate, buyers don’t want nail holes. And yet Jesus bought us with His.