My Tuesday afternoons this summer have been spent with a co-worker and friend instructing young girls in the basic elements of ballet. Ballet has been our “foot in the door” at the large inner-city housing complex where the classes have been held. Our primary goal has been to interweave our teaching with stories from the Bible – stories that emphasize our value in God’s eyes. My guess is many of the young ladies in the class are devalued and don’t truly understand their significance to their Creator and the world around them.
In an effort to teach the parable of the lost coin (Luke, chapter 15:8-10), I grabbed a $20 bill from my daughter’s “Monopoly” money and tucked it away in my pocket for a later illustration. Following class that day, as we sat to hear God’s word, I revealed the bill to the girls and surveyed their reactions. Upon inspection, they agreed that, if the money were real and lost, they would spend a great deal of time and energy searching for it. I then shared that God feels the same about us, and to Him, we are so much more valuable than a $20 bill (and the woman’s lost coin.) Following the story, we exchanged prayer requests. As we reached one of the last little girls in the circle, she said, “Tonight, tell your daughter that she is more important than a $20 bill.”
I was struck by her statement; how often I fail to tell my own children about their worth in my eyes. Yet as often as I fail my children, and ultimately my Father, He never ceases to gently remind me of His unfailing love for me. With all of my shortcomings, it is easy to lose sight of his overarching love. After all, this is the One who rejoiced with His angels in Glory when I came to know Him as my Savior and Lord (Luke, chapter 15:10).
That little girl in class did me a huge favor. In a poignant moment, she reminded me of how our own children need to hear of their worth. Foster care and adoption, at the very root of their existence, send a message to the birth parents in crisis and the children who are victimized or living in orphanages out of sight and mind - that they are of great worth. For those willing to invest their lives in a child and possibly his birth parents, the lost begin to understand their value. And it is from there that Christian parents can share the vast and unfailing love of their Creator, who searches for them with great diligence and rejoices when they are found.