“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”—John 3:16-17
I was buying balloons today. The young woman blowing balloons up for me tied them to a weight at the end of a check-out lane just as a man came up to the same lane to purchase his items. I asked him if he wanted to go first, since she was still finishing up with the balloons.
He said no, and she bantered, “He works here. He doesn’t matter.” (ie. he can wait).
I looked at him, smiled, and said, “You matter.”
His eyes quickly moved to the floor and he said quietly, “I stock the shelves, I don’t matter.”
I insisted, ” You DO matter.” And his co-worker chimed in, “yes, you matter. You stock the shelves well.” Immediately a huge smile lit up his face and eyes, a large grin from ear to ear. I repeated, “You do matter”, and finished paying for my balloons. He and the lady chimed good-byes as I hefted my balloons into one hand and headed out the door.
Although I think she met no malice from her comment about him not mattering, it’s obvious he believed it about himself. I thought about that comment all the way home, remembering his quiet “I stock the shelves, I don’t matter” to the huge grin seconds later when he was told otherwise. I wonder about his story. His life. Whether anyone before has told him he matters.
I think as humans we question our worth at times, whether we really matter. We watch our culture, the news, our media, our entertainment, our Facebook accounts, and it may feel that those who matter are the celebrities, the rich, the busy, the powerful, the outspoken. Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, pegged her life as a New York children’s bookstore owner: “I live a small but valuable life.”
We sometimes can forget we matter. That we have value. We are not often told this. We may feel we live a small life, but one that isn’t valuable. But God has spoken an unmistakable “YES” to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross. Jesus died because we as humans matter deeply to God. All of us. We are precious in His sight.
If you question whether you matter, know that you matter very much to God. You have a place in this world, a purpose. Others may not tell you, but God does. I also invite you to share that with someone this week who needs to hear it. Two little (but big) words: YOU MATTER. Maybe those will be the very words they need to hear!
Prayer–“Gracious God, thank you for seeing me as valuable and precious in your sight. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me so I can have a relationship with you. Help me to see how I do matter. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”