Today I had the privilege to read to Olivia's 3rd grade class, 13 students in all. I read "You are Special" by Max Lucado. I knew that most of the students would have read this book before (about 95% of them had) but it is such a great book, I just had to read it.
The teacher had me sit on a chair and then the students gathered around me on the floor. Two students (including my own child) were sitting on my feet, so I had to ask them to back up a little.
2 - 3 pages into the book, I left some blanks and asked the students to fill in the words for me. After doing this 2 times, I felt A LOT of pressure on my foot and noticed that Olivia was very close to me again. I got the hint that her pushing on my foot was her way of telling me to stop asking the kids to fill in the blanks. Apparently this embarrassed Olivia. She later explained that I should read the book "exactly as it it written and not ask the kids to fill in the blanks"! Otherwise she said I did a good job.
For those of you who haven't read this before, the story draws a distinct parallel to God and how we should live to please Him and no one else.
The setting of the story takes place in a small village of people called Wemmicks. They give each other star stickers for their good looks and talents. Those who lack good looks and talents receive dot stickers. Punchinello, for one, is full of dot stickers.
Punchinello allows what others think of him to 'stick' with him and bring him down until one day he meets his maker, Eli. His maker didn't care what the other Wemmicks thought of Punchinello. What mattered was what HE thought of him and he thought he was 'pretty special'.
Punchinello laughed and asked "me, special? Why? I can't walk fast. I can't jump. My paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?"
Eli replied, "Because you are mine."
Our Creator knows us by name too. He created us and He makes no mistakes. We are His and what other people think about us, doesn't matter. Trust His love because what matters is what He thinks.