Awhile back, I ventured into my local Lifeway Christian Bookstore and while perusing the children's books, I came across the story of Punchinello, a Wemmick (think Pinocchio after he came to life, but before he became a "real boy"). He and the other Wemmicks were hand carved by a woodcarver named Eli and they all lived together in a village (I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going). The title of the book I held in my hand was, You Are Special*, and after I opened its cover and began to read the story I felt my eyes begin to water. It is such a sweet story and it is applicable to ALL children (and maybe a few adults).
They, the Wemmicks, would reward or discourage fellow Wemmicks with stickers, either shiny gold stars (good) or plain ol' dots (bad). Some Wemmicks were covered with coveted stars of approval and admiration. Others were covered with a mixture of both. Then there were those Wemmicks that were only covered with dots!
Poor Punchinello was one of the Wemmicks covered only with dots. Over time he began to believe that the other Wemmicks were right and that he could do nothing right and wasn't a good Wemmick (How many times have we felt this way?). His self confidence was being shattered by the judgement of others and he was not a happy Wemmick.
Lucia told him to visit Eli, the woodcarver, and spend some time with him. After some thought, Punchinello decided a visit to the wood shop couldn't hurt. He didn't like being covered in dots and if Eli could help him then he needed to go see Eli. So, the next morning he walked to the wood shop.
It was there, in the quiet wood shop, Punchinello learned that Eli didn't care what the other Wemmicks thought about his abilities or appearance. He required no defense for the blemishes. Eli told Punchinello that it only mattered what he (Eli) thought about Punchinello and well...he thought Punchinello was "pretty special."
Sometimes I feel a lot like Punchinello. I don't understand why someone (God) would not care about all of my blemishes and shortcomings. There are so many people out there covered with stars...why would He ever care about me Why would he ever use me? But that is an earthly view of myself...not a spiritual, Godly one. The more I grow in my faith the more I see my "dots" falling off and that's a good feeling. It doesn't happen overnight...but it can happen.
Now, to bring this back around to Rae... In our society, we can be very much like the Wemmicks, spending our time judging the abilities (appearance, intelligence, etc...) of others. Everyone wants stars and those with dots become unhappy Wemmicks just like Punchinello. But, God doesn't care what society thinks...just like I don't care what society thinks about my little girl (can I get an AMEN from you parents out there...). She is SPECIAL to me. She is perfect and I love her! I only pray that she'll understand how special she is and won't let societies thoughts of who they think she is become the voice she listens to.
I've never read much Max Lucado. I'm beginning to think I should read his stories more often.
"But when our Father in heaven reminds his children, "You are special," the words carry an unmistakable promise: "You are special, You are mine. Someday you'll be home with me...forever."
*You Are Special, written by Max Lucado, illustrations by Sergio Martinez