My first job was for a company that bought lost mail at auction. Most people are surprised to discover you can buy lost mail; I'm surprised anything gets delivered.

If you've ever been to an auction, you know that nothing has value, at least not until the bidding. It's one place where price is determined by the participants, not an auctioneer or an MSRP. And, consequently, someone planning to resell the merchandise won't pay nearly as much as an end-user. As the primary buyer I quickly learned this lesson that nothing has intrinsic value--it was determined by our small microcosm of economy.

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I worked there about a year before I left for college and blew all my money by second semester. Determined not to work a 'real job' I remembered what I had learned at auction and started to buy and sell overstock designer clothes. There were clothes everywhere in my tiny dorm--the closet, on the floor, on my bed, on my roommate's bed. By the end of senior year, I probably had an inventory worth over $50k in Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Armani, Brioni and everyone else.

Friends started coming to me asking what to wear on dates and to banquets, they would borrow ties and buy shirts. My major was communications and I always found time for the nonverbal communication classes, but I didn't make the connection between 'my great passion and the world's deep need' until a friend of mine went through bankruptcy in 2009 walking around with the droopy shoulders and the hung head. His wife asked me to get him some new clothes for interviews and, when he walked out of the fitting room that first time, he stood tall.

See, I believe in Jesus and I have a Christian worldview. Because God created people in his own image, something called Imago Dei, we all have intrinsic value. Unlike everything I bought at auction that only had attributed value based on how it could meet my needs, people are valuable just because they are. And God, being God, made everything perfectly--He is the original author of symmetry and beauty. So when things come along that hide or degrade the intrinsic beauty of each and every person, it's our job to aide in the restoration process.

And the church has bailed--it has exited the fashion arena leaving the entire genre of personal image to a world who doesn't know the Creator. When Paul said, "Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." he was issuing a mandate that we are, first and foremost, to be excellent communicators. If Christians are ignorant, ugly and unapproachable, who would blame you for ignoring them?

I don't have a traditional job. I'm an image coach because I can show people their intrinsic value and I help them project their worth. I give people presence and a platform from which they can be heard.

-Joshua Davis

 

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