February 18, 2022
“For it was you who formed my inmost parts; you knit be together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works, that I know very well.”
Psalm 139:13-14

Before he died, a father said to his son: “I want you to have the watch that your grandfather gave to me. It is over 200 years old and has been passed down through our family for a long time. But before I give it to you, I want you to go to the jewelry store and tell them that we want to sell it. See how much they will give me for it.”

The son went to the store, and when he inquired, the store manager said: “Well, it is really pretty old – but we will give you $100 for it.” The son came back and reported it to his father. The father said, “Try the pawnshop.”

And so the son went. But sadly, he came back and reported to his father that the pawn shop would only offer $20 because the watch has a scratch. Once more, the father said, “Do me a favor, and try the museum.”

The son – a little annoyed by this point – did what his dying father asked and when he got to the museum, the curator said: “Wow! We will give you $375,000 for this piece because it fits right in with our antique collection.”

When the son reported this to his father, he exclaimed: “Can you believe it, dad?!” His father smiled and responded: “I know you were getting frustrated with me. But I wanted you to do this for me – not because I want the money or to give you the run around – but because I want you to know something important about knowing the worth of something. More important - knowing your worth. “Don’t settle for less than what you are worth. Just like this watch, there are all sorts of places that will undervalue you. But the right place – the place where you are supposed to be – will value you in the right way. If you are in a place where you aren’t seen for your inherent value, that’s not the place for you.”

How many of us could use this advice?
I’d venture a guess that on most days many of us cannot confidently proclaim the Psalmist’s affirmation of our own humanity: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Rather, we are too busy judging ourselves based upon the often impossible standards superimposed on us by others, our workplace values, our culture, and even our own expectations.
And we come away feeling like we aren’t good enough.
We have cruel inner voices.
We compare our lives to others.
We let people take advantage of us.
We fear failure because we think we aren’t good enough to succeed.
We fear being alone, and so we don’t walk away from damaging relationships even if we should,
because we aren’t sure we deserve more.

When we settle for someone else’s definition of what we are worth – we often end up settling for less than what we deserve. Less than what we were created for.

That’s why we need to go back to the Source of our lives. 
Because the One who made us and called us very good is where we find our true value.

That is the third step of growing in compassion, which Pastor Woo will be exploring with us on Sunday. 
If you recall, the first two steps we can take when we feel like we need to grow in compassion are: 

Step 1: Practice a pause & breathe
Step 2: Journey inside ourselves to discover our own stories and wounds, and extend ourselves compassion. 

Step 3 is… Go Back to the Source. 
We have to connect with God and be reminded of our worth; 
reminded of who God claims us to be; 
reminded – as the Psalmist says - that we are wonderful works of God. 
It is the only way to counter all of the negative voices that tell us we aren’t enough. 

And perhaps, if we do that often enough, we might just start to see other people for their wonderful God-given worth too. 


Pastor Kate