Today I had to run some quarterly reports downtown to the firm that has invested in the companies I do bookkeeping for. Downtown is the hub of the business community in our city, full of banks, insurance companies, and law firms. Brick and glass buildings mingle with sculpture, small shops and the occasional water feature. (Water features are apparently the new fountain, and you don’t have to worry about people throwing trash in them.)
As I passed one of the newest buildings my eye was caught by several men in business wear standing outside talking. Suddenly, just for a moment, I missed my world of working. I missed having that sense of importance, of being indispensible to someone. I missed wearing clothing that said “Here I am, take me seriously.” Just for a moment I wanted to slip back into that world; to be noticed for something.
And then I came to my senses again and remembered that I hated professional clothing, and I hated reporting to people that I vehemently disagreed with, and I wasn’t really all that fond of the fact that people don’t really like auditors anyhow and they may be friendly but they sure are glad to see us leave. But still, I crave that importance.
I spent a lot of years trying to build up my sense of importance, trying to become someone that mattered to people instead of someone who felt invisible. I worked hard, I put on the serious face, I let myself become someone I really wasn’t in my quest to cover my insecurities.
Now I’m on the last week of my first year at home with the boys, working an at home job that is far below my training, and absolutely loving it. And this is what I know; I do matter to people. But I don’t matter to them because of anything I’ve done, or any of my accomplishments, I matter just because I am.
I matter to my husband because for some utterly inexplicable reason he fell in love with me on our first date. He saw something inside me that I didn’t even see myself, and he has been in love with that something ever since.
I matter to my children just because I am their mother. Indy is a little confused right now about the whole Mother’s Day/Father’s Day thing, so every day at some point he looks in my eyes, murmers “Happy modder’s day!” and gives me a hug. Every day is Mother’s Day to him because I matter to him. This has been a week of hugs and cuddling for all three of us; frequently we’ll end up laughing in a heap on the floor with me sandwiched between two boys, both declaring “I love you mommy!” I matter to them, despite my failings and my imperfections, despite the fact that I’ve served them peanut butter sandwiches for lunch nearly every single day this summer.
I matter to my friends. That’s a harder one to wrap my mind around. I’m used to being on the edges of the crowd, the hanger-on. But there is a place inside me that is beginning to realize that I do matter, not because I am talkative and flamboyant and charismatic (because I’m not any of those things); I matter because I’m not those things, and my talkative, flamboyant, charismatic friends sometimes want someone who is quiet, introspective and a little bit reserved to hang out with. They like me because I am me.
Most of all, I matter to God. I matter so much that he gave his only Son for me. How on earth could that compare with any accolade, any title, or any honor I might receive here on earth?
5 Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
(Psalm 36:5-9, NIV)
Time and time again the Bible mentions God’s unfailing love. His love is unfailing because we matter to him. Not because of anything that we have done, but just because we are. We matter. We are important.
Lord, help me today to remember my worth to you. Help me to see myself as you see me, as someone who matters just because you made me and you love me, not for any accomplishments or perfection on my part. Help me to rejoice in my worth to those around me, not striving to be more than I am out of any desire for recognition; let my goal be to love wholeheartedly, even as I am wholeheartedly loved.