A Parable about Biblical Self-image
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord (1 Sam 2.12).
As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3.10-12).
From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight (Psa 72.14).
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Matt 10.30-31).
I came into this world as a gift from a loving mother to her infant daughter. My maker remembered that she used to have a Raggedy Ann doll when she was a little girl, and she loved it so well. Now that a precious little girl had been born to her, it only seemed right that she should have one too.
Now my maker’s sewing skills left a little bit to be desired, but she tried the best she could to take some scrap material from around the house and make me like the cherished Raggedy Ann of her childhood memories. In a few weeks, I was done, and I was gently placed in the crib beside her little baby girl.
Daughter did not pay much attention to me in those early days, but within a few months she was clutching me close during her naps. Not long after she learned to crawl, she was dragging me all over the house! It was a little tiring, but I sure liked the attention. Eventually Daughter became a toddler and graduated from a crib to her own little regular bed. Mother came every night to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight, and Daughter insisted that Mother kiss me too, every single time.
On Daughter’s sixth birthday, a rich aunt gave her an expensive porcelain doll, destined to become a collector’s item. At first I was a little jealous, because this doll was so much prettier than me, but I noticed that in no time, she was sitting all by herself on a shelf, while I continued to be loved and carried by Daughter.
You know, all this use can take its toll on a doll like me. Daughter liked to carry me around constantly by my right arm, and one day, it finally pulled off. She cried as if it were the end of the world, but Mother got out her needle and thread and sewed it right back on, as good as new. Another time something kind of bad happened. I know she didn’t mean to do it, but once Daughter left me out in the yard before a thunderstorm. Before she realized what had happened, it began to pour, and did I get soaked! Mother found me there and put me through the washer and dryer. That was an experience I’ll never forget, but when it was all over, though I was showing my age, I was clean and dry again. Once, the family cat got me and scratched off one of my eyes, but in no time Mother sewed another one right back on.
When Daughter was fourteen, Mother became very ill. She was so sick she had to stay in the hospital for a long time. Whenever Daughter came to visit her, she brought me along. Mother always kissed Daughter on the forehead before we left, and according to our long-established custom, I got the last kiss.
Just after we returned home from one visit, Daughter got the news that Mother had gone to heaven. Daughter clutched me to her chest and cried for the longest time. I became damp with her tears. Even though she was such a grown-up teenager, she still took me to bed with her, often crying herself to sleep. I was looking pretty shabby by then, but I knew Daughter loved me more than ever before.
Once as a young married lady, Daughter had a yard sale. She found that pretty porcelain doll in an old chest up in the attic, and she put it out with the other things. A nice lady came and bought it for twenty-five dollars. Then she looked up and saw me sitting in an upstairs bedroom window. “Oh, an old Raggedy Ann!” she exclaimed. “How much do you want for that one?” Daughter just smiled and said, “That one’s not for sale, ma’am. Raggedy Ann and I go back a very long time together, and though she doesn’t look like much, to me she’s priceless.” The window was open a little bit and so I heard this conversation. You can’t imagine how good it made me feel!
I realize that in myself I am really quite worthless, but I also know that I am Daughter’s most prized possession.D. Scott Meadows, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed) Exeter, New Hampshire USA http://cbcexeter.sermonaudio.com