"Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. " ISA 43:4 ESV
Recently, I was going through some boxes that had a few of the treasures from my children’s kindergarten years and I found one of Anthony’s most prized possessions of that time: a rock. It was just a plain rock. It was not a precious stone or a shining crystal but just a simple rock. While I sat in his room holding the rock in my hand I felt the sting of tears in my eyes as well as laughter bubbling up in me.
When he was about 3 or 4 years old I would have to empty handfuls for playground pea gravel out of his pockets every evening when I would pick him up at daycare. This daily pocket checking/empting just became a natural part of our routine and then one day there was no gravel. There was none in the front pockets and none in the back pockets, none in the jeans pockets and none in the jacket pockets. I was so please and thought that we were finally past this “rock loving” phase.
Later that evening as I picked up his jeans off the bathroom floor one tiny piece of pea gravel fell and rolled across the floor, then another one and finally many more started spilling out of the cuffs of those jeans. I gathered up the all of his little treasures and went to his room to have yet another discussion with him. I questioned his fascination with these small, plain, ordinary stones. Why did he cherish them so much?
He lowered his head, looked back up at me through those cute little blue glasses and said, “Momma, each one is so special."
I replied, “But they are all same. Why do you have to bring them ALL home?”
“No, they are not all alike. Each one is special. See this one is brown with darker spots, this one is pink and shiny and this one is gray with lines on it……” He went on and on to list something exclusive about each one I held in my hand.
My eyes still fill with tears today remembering that story because it makes me some what understand why Jesus holds us so dear. All the marks, scars and imperfections we see in ours lives are the exact things God sees as our uniqueness that He will/can use for His glory. He hides us in the covering of His blood just as Anthony hid his pebbles in his pant’s cuff.