valuable

I have a lot swirling around in my head as this weekend comes to a close. And while I can’t really put all of it into words at the moment, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of it centers around the same theme: I want to make people feel valuable.

As I’m reading books like this one and this one, stories of young girls being sold into sex slavery and families being ripped apart by war, I’m sad. So sad that these awful things, such unfair things, happen to people. And struck by this pervading sense that the forces of evil want nothing more than for people to feel worthless. When really, truly, they are so beautiful and valuable in the eyes of God.

We had a guest preacher today at church, a local judge who has started a program to help women get out of prostitution. He read the story of the prostitute in the book of Luke who had been forgiven by Jesus and washed his feet with her tears, her hair and an alabaster bottle of expensive perfume. When everyone else looked down on her, Jesus told her how valuable she was. And did that same thing for so many people throughout the gospels.

Two of these women that have gone through the judge’s program came with him today. They stood up in front of 500+ people and shared their testimony of how God has delivered them and loves them unconditionally. It was beautiful. They got a standing ovation and lots of bursts of cheers and clapping. The judge said something, though, that made me sad. He admitted to being a bit insecure and had wondered how we would receive these women. Break my heart.

I wonder what I can do to make people feel valuable.

When we go to Cambodia, I want everyone I come in contact with to feel like I think they’re valuable. When I walk through my neighborhood, I want everyone I meet to feel like I think they’re valuable. I want my online friends and real-life friends to feel like I think they’re valuable. I want my kids and husband to feel like I think they’re valuable.

And I can’t do this without God’s help.

Like I said, I have a lot of thoughts all tumbling around in my head, and I hope to organize more of them in words sometime soon. But, for now, here’s an amazing video of some people who used their talents to make people feel valuable last year. Gabe was able to be involved with this project here in Columbus, and the girls and I are going to help him when he does it again this fall.

It’s worth four minutes of your time. I promise.

If you’ve got a second, pick a question:

1. Is there someone in your life who could use some encouragement today? How could you show her (him) that she (he) has value?

2. Tell me about a time someone made you feel valuable.

Have a wonderful Monday, friends!

13 thoughts on “valuable

  1. Kelli

    Caroline and Chris make me feel valuable everyday.

    My students used to make me feel valuable when they would write little notes talking about how much they loved school and would give me big hugs!

  2. Jennifer

    There is a sweet older couple in our church who is (are?) so consistent and intentional in telling us how much they love our family. I’m always making mental notes on this, knowing that one day we’ll be the older couple encouraging a younger family and making them feel valuable. I want to be as great at it as they are!

  3. Elizabeth

    More than anybody else in my life, I want my husband and kids to know that they are valuable to me. Because if I’m not successful at communicating that to them each and every day, then I can’t really expect to make sure anyone else feels that way.

    The friend who I had you sign your book for told me that she started reading it last week. It had been a really hard week for her with her 8-week old baby, and she said your words encouraged her so much. So, she is someone I want to encourage today, and so are you! Your books (and blog, and thank you notes, etc.) encourage so many others, including me!

    People make me feel valuable when they ask me for help. It’s good for me to know sometimes that my opinion is valued!

  4. Rachelle

    when my kids were very young another mom in our community (also with 4 children, older than mine) said to me, “you’re a good mama”. That comment made me feel valued as a young, very exhauted mother. And it came to me often when I was feeling defeated or wondering what on earth I was thinking!

    I make it a point to compliment other young mothers-telling them how clever their little child is, or that they are doing a good job, or letting them know that I have been there and that it gets better.

  5. deanna f.

    My preacher’s sermon was out of this very same story!!! God must have wanted a lot of people to hear that yesterday. Isn’t that awesome?

    Oh, and to answer one of your questions… One of my most memorable times of feeling valuable (or special) was when my sister & I were younger and we’d visit this certain woman’s house in our community and she’d let us drink out of her most fanciest glasses. (We were only allowed to drink out of the plastic cups at our house!) So we really thought we were something else at her house. HA!

  6. Kelsie

    I can think of many who need encouragement. I appreciate the reminder that we CAN make a difference in people’s lives, simply by showing them that we value them because of the value they have in God.
    “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
    May I first start with my husband and children…

  7. Daniel Basham

    God is definitely doing something. I feel like I’m hearing more and more about all these girls caught up in the sex trade. One of my students just started a group called DACS (Designers Against Child Slavery) and God is doing some amazing stuff through him. He is putting on a big art festival this fall to raise money for facilities that give these women and children a place to work as they come out of the trade. He will be heading over to Southeast Asia this fall for the first time.

  8. Gail

    Awesome thoughts you shared today, friend. No time to really comment, but I will be thinking about this today. Valuable. What a word.

  9. Ali

    I was totally convicted of this yesterday. I was at a birthday party with some folks from my church. I knew most everyone there, except for one family. I recognized them because our babies were dedicated together, but that’s the extent of our relationship.

    As I was shuffling my son out of the party, the dad of this family stopped me and said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but my name is Josh.” I told him that I remember him, and then he continued, “I see you at church but you are always busy behind the Resource Table.”

    I don’t know why, but that comment cut right through me. I caught myself trying to make an excuse about how it’s hard for me to serve Connections and “connect” with folks because I’m so busy checking things off a stupid list. Oh, the irony.

    This simple interaction taught me an important lesson about priorities. Am I too busy checking things off a list that I can’t engage with folks on Sunday morning? Why the heck am I serving such a wonderful ministry then? The exact mission of the Connections ministry is to make folks feel valuable!

    Thanking God for this lesson. Praying that I can put PEOPLE before my list next Sunday.

  10. Laura

    That video was incredible. I just watched it with tears plunking into my coffee! It’s amazing what an impact kindness has. Thank you for sharing it Marla. Have a wonderful day!

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