“…the gold's not in the ground.  The gold's not anywhere up here. The real gold is south of 60 - sittin' in livin' rooms, stuck facin' the boob tube, bored to death. Bored to death.”  

- bush pilot Rosie Little from “Never Cry Wolf”

There is a show that my wife likes. Correction, there is a show that my wife along with millions of other Americans likes. The premise is this: find the worst looking house on the street in the nicest neighborhood and restore the hidden glory of the home. Take what is hidden beneath a bunch of decay, neglect, or just really poor design choices and restore it into the nicest house on the block.

Not only are they a cottage industry unto themselves (launching their own network in 2019, by the way), they have lifted the entire economy of their beloved Waco where they do all their work. Hotel and VRBO rates double on the weekends throughout the year, when people plan their pilgrimages to taste a little of this restoration work.

At a recent Christmas dinner for a few dozen folks, we honored what we saw in each of our Executive Board members in front of a large group that included their spouses. Rather than just speak to their incredible progress as leaders and business owners over the last 12 months, we tried to focus on what was below the surface.

The often unknown and unidentified glory in each of them.

Some of the spouses even remarked at how completely we “nailed” our description of their spouse.  The intended glory of each person’s life is the truest thing about them…the truest and often most hidden and unexplored.

What if we approached everyone with that image in mind? Like a women at a well who is from the wrong tribe, has chosen the wrong profession, and has made numerous bad decisions in her life.  What if we spoke to even that sort of “unclean” person with the glimpse of their hidden glory in mind?

What if we saw everyone with the eyes of an unconditional and loving father? Looking past the obvious flaws and claiming a vision that focused on the intended glory in each of them.

How would it change your life if someone looked at you that way?  What if someone looked past the dirt, scars, and markings of all the mistakes you had made and saw something truly glorious inside of you?  

Would that change your life?  Would it make you arrogant?

Or would it be the sort of rescue that just might change every day of the rest of your life?

As I heard that spouse talk about our acknowledging the hidden glory in their spouse, I knew it was true.  Because others have seen the glory in me and awakened my heart to the hidden potential inside of me, I work very hard to do likewise for others.

It has changed every day of my life and even as I sit here outside a SBUX scribbling these notes, my mind is flooded with all the situations from across the last 35 years of my life where I was given that gift.

The reality is that every conversation 

and every interaction 

with every person (spouse, child, employee, friend, or stranger), 

holds the prospect of a treasure hunt.  

An opportunity to unearth the hidden treasure and change the course of someone’s life.

I am taking what was done for me and trying to claim it as a standard operating procedure.  I want to make unearthing glory normative.  I am on a perpetual treasure hunt for gold that is not in the ground.

It is in each one of us.


  • Are you aware of the glory hidden inside of you?

  • Do you think it is possible to identify glory in others if you aren’t aware of your own?

  • How do you think it might change the lives of everyone around you if you saw first their glory beyond everything else?