My girls used to collect rocks. They would put all their finds in old shoe boxes. They even had a rock polisher which I think their uncle bought for them. For what ever reason, they just liked rocks.
Now imagine for a second, if one of my little girls brought one of their special rocks to show me and I took that rock and threw it as hard as I could into the middle of the pasture right in front of them. Well first of all I should be committed or imprisoned or at least throttled good and hard because that’s just psychotic and cruel. But if I were to do that, my daughters would be very upset, probably cry, and likely feel an emotional loss on some level because their rock is gone. One of their valuables is missing. (Who cares – It’s a rock, right?) But the girls found value in it even though it had no inherent worth.
My girls are capable of bestowing real worth on something as meaningless as a stone from the driveway. They give the rock the gift of worth – completely undeserved, completely unearned. They take the rocks inside and wash them and put them in their tumbler, and make them shiny, bringing out their colors. You can’t tell them that this is an ordinary rock anymore because it’s their ordinary rock… and as such, no longer ordinary but valued. I believe this is exactly what God has done for us.
Sometimes the girls draw or paint on their rocks to show who they belong to. I think being loved by someone leaves an indelible mark on you, something that makes you better, more valuable. I think that mark stays with you in some fashion throughout your life, just like the polishing and paint would stay on the rocks if they were discarded. In that vein of thinking then, does the amount of people we have who care for us, and love us, make us more valuable? What if the rock painter (my daughter) was a master craftsman, an expert at his or her trade – a Di Vinci or Monet? How much more valuable would the rock be then?
What if God was the painter? The rock would be priceless, right? God values us. He sent his Son to die a miserable death on a cross in order that we might become like Him – but we have to be willing to be affected by that. Unlike the rocks we can choose whether we are painted on or not, whether we are willing to receive God’s mark. We have to want to be affected. We have to want to receive a mark of ownership. We have to learn to let God love us.
“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world, to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world he loved them to the end.” John 13:1
“Love hath no greater one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:3.
Now replace the words “friend” or “his own” in the above references with the concept of the value my daughters imbue on their stone treasures and I may actually have made a point.
Christ called the disciples his friends – God called human beings His friends. I can’t get over that.