This weekend, one of Hannah's friends was heavy on her heart. Her friend had been "going out" (I use that term loosely....'cause it's Junior High...but at the same time I remember what it was like to "go out" with someone who I thought hung the moon and then squashed my junior high heart like it was a bug) with a guy at school and then they broke up...and then he started saying ugly things about her to their friends.
While neither Hannah nor her friend heard these things first hand, but from another source, the words still hurt her friend...and they hurt Hannah too because she loves her friend. She loves her friend so much that she offered to kick this young man in a certain area...if you know what I mean, for her friend. Wait a second! She told me all of this while we were in the car driving home from a high school playoff basketball game. I wanted to chuckle out loud because the thought of my beautiful daughter just walking up to this boy and kicking him where it counts was kind of funny...but not really...at the same time.
I regained my composure and explained that this was not an option and to think again. And then her thoughts turned to her friend who was feeling really low because of what this boy had said about her. And then I reminded her of Max Lucado's book, You are Special.
Have you read this book? Every house should have a copy. Yes, it is a children's book, but it aptly applies to children of all ages. I reminded her of Punchinello who was labeled by all of the Wemmicks who were so cruel to him. They told him that he wasn't like them, he wasn't talented, not good enough, etc. Not only did they tell him these things, for everything they said, they would put a dot, or a sticker/label on Punchinello.
One day Punchinello came face to face with the Eli, the woodcarver, who told Punchinello that he was special and that "what they (Wemmicks) think doesn't matter. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special." Eli explains to Punchinello that the labels the Wemmicks were trying to put on Punchinello, "only stick if you let them. The stickers (labels) only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers." And then Eli explains, "You are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes." Punchinello starts to believe Eli and then a sticker (label) falls to the ground.
It is a great reminder that we do matter to God; He loves us and cares about every detail. We may not meet the qualifications or expectations that the world has placed upon us, but we are special to God and we are somehow precious in His sight.
Heartbroken for her friend, Hannah called her to see if she could read this book to her...and she did and to another friend that happened to be there too.
And then Hannah typed her these Bible verses:
Psalm 139:14-18 and Psalm 37:4. And I marveled at her love for the Lord and her love for her friends.
And then I thought about some of those labels that I've let the world give me....you need to lose 15 pounds...so you are not good enough; you fed your family a fast-food hamburger last week...not good enough; you were impatient with your husband and you call yourself a Christian...doesn't measure up.....and then I compared those labels and thoughts to who God says that I am...and the labels fell off and landed at His feet.
Yes, You are Special is a book for children...of all ages.