Monday, November 3, 2014

Ninety Cents

I could almost hear her thoughts screaming at me.  “It’s NINETY CENTS lady.  Give it a rest!”  I had gone through the till at Walmart and she owed me ninety cents but forgot to give it to me before she shut the drawer of the cash register.  She was slightly embarrassed and I was equally embarrassed waiting for so many minutes for someone to come and open her till.  But ninety cents is ninety cents.  Add a few dollars to it and you have a big jug of milk.  Or find it on sale and you have a loaf of bread.  As I was calculating this in my head,  I became more and more determined to wait for my ninety cents even though a few minutes were stretching into many minutes.   Besides,  what if she was conveniently doing this with all of her customers - by the end of the day she would get quite a nice tip.  I was beginning to wonder as she was decidedly annoyed with me,  telling the other customers behind me,  “Sorry, I can’t help you.  I am waiting to give this customer her NINETY CENTS!” as she carefully put the emphasis on NINETY CENTS. 

“I ONLY owe you NINETY CENTS,” she had said when she looked at the receipt.  “Yep, and that ninety cents matters to me,” I said with an edge of sternness in my voice as I stared her down.  She sighed inwardly as she realized that I had really bonded with the ninety cents and I wasn’t going to back down too easily.   She kept calling back on the phone and to be honest,  I did feel a twinge of sympathy for her- but not enough to give up my ninety cents. Also,  because she was far more annoyed and bothered with me than sorry about not giving me my rightful change. 

Finally after about 10 minutes, lots of finger tapping, impatiently shifting her weight from one foot to the other and several calls to her superiors,  I got my money.  I heaved a sigh of relief,  thanked her and was on my way to my car. 

And suddenly I realized - only after I went back and got my groceries because I forgot them after all of that - that this is a profound thing that just happened.

 I sat stunned in the car, as I got this image in my head.  This is just the way that God looks at us.  He stares us down as we say,  “But we are so insignificant.  We are so small.”   And he says,  “I want my 90 cents.”  He doesn’t back down either.  He doesn’t pass on, realizing that  maybe you really you are just one small person - just one insignificant human being and there will be lots of them;  lots that He will lose. 

NO,  he stares you down.  He says,  “You may be 90 cents but you are MY 90 cents and that makes you worth a lot..  Some day you will buy something with your life.  Your life matters.  Your story matters.  Your feelings matter.  Your paintings, your music, your dancing, your mundane job, your exciting career -  it all matters.  Deeply. To Me, it matters.”

Because you know,  Jesus died for us.  No matter how much you feel that you are worth,  he died for you.  Jesus died for that 90 cents and he wants YOU.  He wants all of you because he can see what He can do with your life.  He can see the potential that you have in your music,  in your words,  in your paintings,  in your friendships and in your life.  He sees you in a way that you don’t even see yourself.  He sees so much more than ninety cents.  He sees so much more than a small life and unimportant thoughts.  He sees you and he sees VALUE.  That's right - and he isn’t leaving, my friend until you see it too. 

 You may be 90 cents.  You may be someone standing beside someone you feel is so much greater but let me tell you that Jesus Christ is staring you down right now with those eyes that look right through you to your soul. He is not moving and  - and he is saying,  “I don’t care if you are 90 cents.  You matter.  And I want you. ”