Back in December, I spent two weeks volunteering with ARC in Wisconsin. I went with a teen girl from church, but didn’t know any of the 20+ other volunteers when we got there.
At the end of the first week, we were in the food line at Sunday dinner and apparently some of them had been talking about me because one of the girls said, “Anita, I’ve been with you this whole week and I didn’t know you wrote a book!”
Her surprise amused me, and I shrugged. “Well, it’s not the most important thing about me.”
She didn’t miss a beat. “So what IS the most important thing about you?”
I was spooning gravy onto meat as she posed this question of shattering, earth-shaking import. We don’t plan these things. We can’t anticipate all the wonderful, unpredictable questions and conversations that pop out of nowhere and lead us to new discoveries.
“Hmmmm. The most important thing about me,” I slowly restated her question, “Is that Jesus loves me.”
It was a Sunday school answer, but I knew in the deepest part of me that this was the highest, widest, most wonderful reality about me.
Saying that wonder out loud—being asked to say it out loud—was an enormous gift my new friend gave me.
We women are too good at comparing ourselves with others. Depending on the day or the mood or the neighbor at hand, we give in to believing lies about our incompetency and superiority.
And it makes us shriveled and wrinkled and ugly. (Some wrinkles come with years, but that’s another subject.)
Inferiority and pride make us touchy and snippy and territorial and does nothing for us.
Have you noticed how a bride glows? She may or may not have the prettiest face, but her eyes and her smile tell us she knows she’s chosen and loved, and she isn’t crippled with needing anyone’s approval except her groom.
Brides glow because they know they’re loved. Have you seen how love is a wonderful beautifier?
I wish we wouldn’t think “Jesus Loves Me” is a children’s song. I wonder what would happen if we would sing it every Sunday, all together, loud, as if we mean it and are over the moon excited about it.
The most important thing about us has never been how much work we get done, or how little money we have. Or the way we do or don’t stay up to date with clothes and décor and hobbies and child training and world news.
When comparison stops, the game is over. The important thing stays the most important thing and nothing else matters.
The most important thing about me is not which of my spiritual gifts people see, or how much I’ve been hurt. The most important thing about me is that I get to be one of billions of people that Jesus loves wide and deep and long. If I could see Him, I would see the glint in His eye and I would see that He likes me—and not just me, but all of us—regardless of how cool or uncool anyone is, and that is the best, most important, glorious thing in the world.