It was ages ago. I was in the throws of a hellish middle school experience. A brushed-out perm, pink 80s glasses, and extra fluff around the middle don’t get a kid far at 13. It should also be said that being the no-filter-ADHD-please-like-me girl ushered me into the that kid status.
I spent afternoons laying on my bed, listening to Sinead O’Conner (probably not the smartest move for a depressed soul), staring up at the window above my headboard, watching the light dance through the blinds.
No one would miss me if I just ran away.
That was the dialogue my head repeated over and over again as I trudged through the taunts and jeers of bullies in middle school. My mother’s horrified as she’s reading this. But she would also tell you a mother’s love can only go so far to ease the hurt of her children.
For years I’ve watched students on the outskirts. Students who walk into my classroom without ever looking in my eyes because they believe they’re not worth being truly seen—known. They believe they don’t matter.
And the classroom is only a microcosm of society. Because she walks into church dragging the weight of her mistakes with her shoulders hunched low, scraping against the backs of pews and sinners.
On the street corner he crouches, head bent against the scorching sun and grime-filled fingers hold a sign—Brother can you spare a dime?
Her children fight and fuss and scream down the grocery aisle while she clings to the cart by a thread wondering if there’s more to life than showerless days and adultless conversations.
In the office where gray walls bleed into reality, he tap, tap, taps the keyboard, staring into spreadsheet oblivion hoping he may just get to see the kids this weekend.
All of them with the same three words echoing through their thoughts.
I don’t matter.
It’s the cry of the human condition.
Painful words for someone who once believed them. Painful words for the one who believes them now.
We want to believe we are important—more than a simple number in time. We’re desperate to know our lives have purpose and meaning. When we realize there’s a reason for our birth, we can see reason for our days.
Insignificance. No bigger lie dwells in our souls. No bigger lie threatens the goodness of God more. Because we matter.
We have value, not because of what we accomplish, but because we exist. We’re significant because we have breath. We have worth because our heart beats within our chest.
You’re important because on a planet with billions of people walking through their days, there is not a single one like you. Or like me. The master artist created His finest work when He created you.
The one thing that kept me home? The one reason I never ran away? The one reason my life found the light of Hope?
I knew Jesus.
If I never mattered to a single person on this planet, I mattered to Him.
That became enough.
And now? Because I have a purpose, because I matter? I have work to do. How can we heal the wounds of the outcasts? How can we bring healing to a culture that only allows a few to have a chance at significance?
By being brave. By being bold. By wrapping our arms around those only a few dare to love. By teaching our children to do the same.
Friends, we must look into the eyes of humanity and see people—really see them.
Every soul matters. Every. single. one. Christ proved it when he so loved the whole wide world from the splintered wood of the cross.
I want to stop seeing black and white, gay and straight, affluent and marginalized, Muslim and Christian, college educated and high school dropout. Instead? I want to open my eyes and see humans and love them. God’s finest artwork.
I want to stop seeing labels and start seeing souls.
Because every soul matters.
I’m in love with the God who sees us for who we really are—not for the names we’ve been called. I’m in love with the God who sees me. Who sees you. I’m in love with the God who adores His creation.
And if He were to write on walls today? Words He might want you to see?