Does it really matter what others think of who we are, or where we stack up in the dog-eat-dog social ladder?
Is there any significance in the fact that I was voted most likely to succeed by my high school counterparts and was salutatorian of my graduating class? And, furthermore, is it of any substance that after those accomplishments I have only thirty-two hours of college credit to my record, and I am now working as a server? Does it matter that I went to my senior prom all by myself? Does it matter I was class president? What about the fact the majority of my class mates have already graduated college and have now started families? All the while, I am single, and marriage, along with family, is only a distant dream.
Does it amount to anything of value that, at the age of twenty-one, I took custody of a sibling nine years younger? Does anyone care I gave up my life to care for another? Did they notice? And, if they did notice, do they remember?
I have always been told people measure you on worldly success. So, does it carry some weight that, in every job where there has been room for advancement, I have excelled? Does it count that I have been employee of the quarter at every job where the award has been granted? To some, these things matter most, and they say it is a testament of my character.
But does it really matter? Does anyone care?
Does it make a difference that I suffered through an abusive childhood where I witnessed my mother being battered and bruised? Does it matter that at one point in my young life I attempted to slit my wrist? Does anyone care I was raised in poverty?
Does it matter?
What about the fact I have seen cocaine? And, for that fact, I have seen crank. What about the time I was 14 and tried pot? Does it matter that as a child I saw people dealing drugs around the house to make ends meet, or to just satisfy their need?
To some this is tragic. To others this is life.
Does it matter that I am now 23? Does it matter I was once homeless? Does the fact I have done mission work, fed the hungry and clothed the naked count? Does it matter I sing in the church choir? What about the time in my senior year when I gave into my hormones, and regret it to this day— does that count against me too?
What about the fact that my older brother is gay, and my mother who has been married twice is now living with her boyfriend? And, still, does it count my father is on his third marriage? Are those strikes against me, too?
Does it count that I am the one who pushed the crown of thorns onto Jesus’ head, and caused blood to run down His face? It is true He bled because of me. What about the fact that I spat on Him and even mocked Him? Then there was the time I pushed Him down. And the time I helped drive the nails into His hands, piercing them. Does that count? Oh, and what about the time I shoved the spear into His side? Did that make a difference?
To some all the above make a difference; they say, “That is who I am.”
But who I am is not what the world sees me as, or wants me to be. Who I am is whom God sees me as.
I am a child of God. I am loved no matter what the sin in my life is.
No matter what the circumstances around me may be, I am still loved.
To me the only thing of value is, that I am the one Jesus loves.
Therefore, the only thing I am is The One Jesus Loves.
I am the one. The one He loves.