"Behold, I have indelibly imprinted, tattooed a picture of you on the palm of each of my hands, your walls are continually before me."
Isaiah 49:16, Amplified Bible
"Just Look At the Hands"
"When people care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul."
How do I feel "treasured" and "valued" by God?
"The feet carry the body as affection carries the soul."
Catherine of Siena
"Tis sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together."
During the past few days we have studied about a widow woman who was poverty-stricken and came to the Temple to bring a gift of two copper pennies.
As we learned, this dear woman had four strikes going against her. She faced poverty, gender and age discrimination, along with the fact that she was a widow. Her husband had died.
One might believe that with all this going against her it was no wonder people around the widow, watching her put a meager gift into the treasury, would come to the conclusion that not only was her offering worthless but that her life did not hold any great meaning or worth either. Nothing could have been further from the truth, especially in the eyes of Jesus. All of us are of equal value in the eyes of the Man who would have laid down His life for even one of His children.
So often, as we hear this story, we focus on the "gift giving" lesson rather than the value and worth of each person which I believe to be the biggest lesson of this story. How much God values us … how much He thinks we are worth … and how much He loves us are the truths we should take away from Jesus' reflection on this woman and her gift.
But there's more! Jesus longed for those around Him to understand, too, that when we begin to recognize the tremendous worth He places on each one of His children, in turn He asks us to treat each individual we meet with the same Christ-like value He does.
M. A. Thomas, who wrote from India, penned this beautiful prayer of compassion:
"Nothing seems to be moving,
It is still - so very still,
We cannot feel the world around us;
We do not hear the people around us,
We do not care,
We do not listen,
We want to be by ourselves,
Lead us from indifference to solicitude,
Lead us from insensitivity to sympathy,
Lead us from inertia to alertness.
Lord, we want to care, we want to hear."
As we are reminded in Scripture of the great love and value God places on each of us, we must learn to extend the same love and value to others by a life of compassion and kindness. In the eloquent words of Lord Byron: "The dew of compassion is a tear."
"The best exercise for strengthening the heart is reaching down and lifting people up."
"Make us true servants to all those in need,
Filled with compassion in thought, word and deed;
Feeding the hungry and finding the lost.
Lord, make us healers of body and mind;
Give us Your power to bring sight to the blind;
Love to the loveless and gladness for pain,
Filling all hearts with the joy of Your name."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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