Lent devotional 3
Once there was a young man sitting with his youth group, a new girl was brought to the group, she was introduced and then sat down next to the man. She said nothing, but played with her hair as the youth pastor talked. When the group was asked for responses to the lesson everyone joined in, except the new girl. Later the man took the opportunity of a snack break to speak to the girl. He asked her the basics, where are you from? What’s your name? So on. When she mentioned her dad was a soldier, the man inquired to what her mom did, was she a stay at home mom or did she have a different job someplace in the city. The girl blushed and pulled on her hair. Her mom had left them when she was born, the doctor had said that she might have brain damage and that her father had convinced her mom to have her anyway, but after her mom had left because she didn’t want the baby.
It was a sad story. But not all sad. Her father loved her and raised her by himself and she was cherished by him. But she still felt unwanted and thrown away because of her mother’s choices. She then blushed again. She hadn’t meant to say all that to this stranger. The man smiled gently. He cast around with his eyes until he found a stone and a piece of wood. ‘Let me show you something.’ He said. Then he sat down and the girl sat with him. ‘Open your hands.’ She opened her hands and cupped them together. Then he used the sharp edge of the Stone to cut away at the wood causing shards of wood to fall into the girl’s hands. The man continued to whittle away, to the best of his abilities, with the stone until he had a rough-hewn image of a bird. Then he looked at the girl and said, ‘ do you know what you hold in your hands?’ The girl shook her head. ‘If we were going to build a fire to roast marshmallows, or just wanted to keep warm, or any other reason we might have to build a fire we would use those as our base to get the fire going and to help it heat up. Those are valuble shards of wood called kindling.’ The man paused, ‘now, we aren’t going to build a fire, so we just need to throw those shards away, you could just drop them here in the grass, they aren’t sharp so there’s no worry.’ The girl drop the shards. Then she looked at the man. The man smiled again, ‘ don’t worry, those pieces of wood we have no need for won’t go to waste. Birds and mice, even insects will come and use the shards to build their homes. What we saw as trash and worthless, someone else we’ll see as a valued gift. But the animals each will only take as much as they need, they will leave the rest behind for someone else. What they discard and don’t want the next animal coming will find used for.’ The girl smiled softly, knowing what he meant. ‘So,’ she started quietly, ‘what one person may see as worthless or trash, another might see as a gift of great worth.’
The man nodded, ‘Don’t doubt your value because of someone else’s view of you. Ot wasn’t the fault of the wood chips that we didn’t see them as useful, it was us who were to blame for leaving them behind. It also won’t be their fault if several animals pass them by not realizing their value. Someday, someone will want them when they find them and will cherish them.’
The girl smiled. ‘Jesus always sees my value.’
‘Yes.’ The man stated, ‘and so do others, including myself. Just beleive in who God calls you to be. His.’