I’m so grateful that life is full of teachable moments and that God is constantly reaffirming to me the enormous value and worth He places on all of us as His children.
This point was reinforced before my very eyes yet again this past week.
Several months ago, a new family came to our church and we immediately hit it off. They were warm and friendly; just a great family. Not long after we met, the father shared the story of one of their daughters, whom they’d adopted. (I’ll call her Elizabeth for the purposes of sharing this story.)
He told of how she was born with a cleft palate and her biological parents abandoned her at birth. Whether it was because they felt they couldn’t financially care for an infant with health needs or some other reason, this precious baby was given up.
With no hesitation at all, our friends adopted her and welcomed her into their family. They loved her unconditionally and poured themselves into that little life. Years — and many surgeries — later, she is a lovely young woman. But more obvious than her physical attributes is her beautiful heart. She is sweet, loving, funny and kind; a woman who loves God and people. It’s a blessing to know her.
Still, there’s no doubt that she is aware of the circumstances surrounding the early days of her life. She knows the story of her birth parents’ decision. She must remember the medical procedures she underwent to have brought her to where she is today.
Flash forward to a kennel of beautiful Labrador Retriever puppies for sale by another family in our church.
They were all adorable! Some white, some yellow, some black. All playful and energetic. Except for one. (I’ll call her Molly.) She was born without a tail and her back legs don’t work. The American Kennel Club wouldn’t grant a registration for this puppy because she wasn’t perfect. When potential buyers came to look at the litter, they overlooked the smallest, least lovely one.
And yet when Elizabeth first laid eyes on her, she fell in love. In fact, she wouldn’t even consider any of the other puppies. Nothing would do until she could make Molly her own. The least likely to be chosen was the one she chose. She realized that the value and the worth of this little pup had nothing to with her exterior. This dog was just as valuable to Elizabeth — maybe more so — because she was not… perfect.
As I watched this story unfold over the course of a few days, I couldn’t help but be reminded again of the incredible worth our loving God places on us. We don’t have to be the most pristine, or the most beautiful. We don’t have to be the most desirable pup in the litter. It doesn’t matter what the world says or doesn’t say about us. And it doesn’t matter where we come from. Our worth is based solely on the fact that the Creator of the Universe says we are worthy! There is no greater source of comfort and strength for me than to know that. And I hope the story of Elizabeth and Molly will remind you of your incredible worth too.