The Most Important Thing

Photo by T. Kaiser on Unsplash

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.

16 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing

  1. Thank you for the reminder Anita! The most important thing really is that Jesus loves me. I agree with you that the song Jesus loves me is not just a children’s song.

  2. I absolutely love everything about this article!!! Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. let me know when you decide to sell doodle cards. I will keep ya in business 😃

  3. Anita, this reaches deep inside every single one of us, no exclusions ever, and satisfies and sets us aglow. Thank you and God bless you for this Good Friday gift.

  4. “Depending on the day or the mood or the neighbor at hand, we give in to believing lies about our incompetency and superiority.” Too true. thanks for fleshing out this truth so succinctly.
    Back in the 70s I was teaching school in Ohio one spring, when we (my upper grade students) and I were preparing for a program in song. I asked them to sing “Jesus Loves Me”. They sang it in three languages in four-part music. Anolder sister of one of my students told me that her brother said that he didn’t know “Jesus Loves Me” is such a pretty song.
    Thanks for your reminder that “Jesus Loves Me” is a lovely concept, one that we need to embrace.
    Linda Rose

  5. So simple, so true! Do you think we’ll spend eternity learning the love of God? Thanks for inspiring me tonight!
    And I look forward to endless cups of tea with you in eternity, too, my friend ♥️

  6. Yesterday at church, we were reminded that Jesus came to ‘bear witness of the truth’ ….such good words of truth shared here. Thank you Anita.

    P.S. So glad to have the pleasure of meeting you at REACH.

  7. Another really good post, Anita! Thanks for drawing my heart back to Jesus and His love.
    A great reminder this Resurrection day!

  8. “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.”
    Now I want to try it! 🙂

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