You are more than you imagine yourself to be.
She breathed these words over me as the prayer finished during a conference I attended. “That’s a word from God. He told me to tell you that.”
Warmth flooded my being, but I must say—I was a bit skeptical. Skeptical with my God-in-a-box faith wondering if He really thought those words about me.
Until another man, three hours later, during a conference session, spoke of an unrelated topic. I was only half-hearing, checking Facebook. Twitter. Email. And then I heard the same words…
More than you imagine yourself to be.
Now I’m listening. Because, God, you know I have my doubts.
Do you ever wonder if anyone really sees you? I mean really sees? Do you wonder if you’re more than the number on a scale? The job you have? Your bank account? The children you’re raising? The children you don’t have? The mistakes you’ve made?
I was in my classroom late one day when a custodian walked through my door. He let me know the one who regularly cleans my room wasn’t there. We introduced ourselves. His name? Dennis.
Dennis began to speak of Shakespeare. The Bronte sisters. Keats. Yates. His British accent flooded the room. In that still space my heart suddenly became silent with the weight of his words. He had been a teacher in his home country of Guyana.
What made you come here, I asked quietly?
He leaned against a desk. “Ah. Americans. You don’t realize how many citizens of third world countries are dying to get here. But it’s hard. I had been a teacher is Guyana. Now, I’m just a custodian.”
Just a custodian.
I shuddered, looked inward, hung my head. Shame fills me, even now.
Had I seen him as just a custodian? Did his worth suddenly rise now I knew he was educated? What kind of person am I? If I really believed the Jesus-love I preach, why do I still struggle to see every. single. person. as priceless?
But the fog is lifting.
I wonder if sometimes we fail to see our own value because we fail to really see the value of others? Do I miss the beauty of my own soul when I fail to see beauty in every person?
I think so. Because when I can fling wide-open my arms and embrace humanity, its mistakes and flaws, I can more willingly accept my own imperfections.
To love my neighbor as myself is to accept my neighbor as I want to be accepted. To love as I want to be loved. To see my neighbor as more than she imagines herself to be.
Because you are. You are more than you imagine yourself to be.
You are more than a number on a scale. You are more than your job. You are more than your bank account. You are more than the children you raise. Or the children you don’t have. You are more than your mistakes. You are more.
You are a treasure.
You are enough.
You are valued.
You are priceless art.
You are beautiful.
You are amazing.
You are wonderfully made.
How do I know? Because God chose you. He named you. He counts the number of hairs on your head. He became a beaten-down, bloody mess for you. He died for you.
So, yeah…When we see each other through these God-eyes, we will truly see ourselves. When we see humanity through real Jesus-love, we will be able to love ourselves. And when we see every person as more, we will know.
We will know we’re more than we imagine ourselves to be.