C.S. Lewis once shared, “There is someone I love even though I don’t always approve of what he does. There is someone I accept though I don’t like some of his actions. That someone…is me. If I can accept and love myself in this way, I can seek to extend a similar compassion to others.”
Take a moment and ask yourself how much all the skin, mineral and chemical elements that make up the human body are worth. Before I give you the answer, let me share the story of Giorgio Angelozzi.
Giorgio was an eighty-seven-year-old man who lived in Italy. His daily companions were his cats and several books. A widower, his daughter lived far away and he rarely left his home, finding his life to grow lonelier over time. Whether in a flash of brilliance or insanity, he decided to place a classified ad in one of the largest newspapers that read, “Seeks family in need of a grandfather. Would bring 500 euros a month to a family willing to adopt him.”
Overnight his life changed. Answers to the ad poured in from around the world, as did requests for television interviews. He received responses from millionaires and celebrities, but settled on a particular family of four with whom he takes walks and leisurely spends his days doing dishes and helping with homework. Giorgio shares that he doesn’t know if it was luck or the hand of God, but “I couldn’t have chosen better.”
Giorgio learned one of life’s greatest truths, love conquers all. Back to our chemistry experiment, if you were to add up all of the chemicals that make up a human body they would be worth a grand total of $4.50. That’s right; the physical elements that combine to form your frame that physicists tells us also make up the composition of stars are comparable to the cost of a cup of coffee at a downtown Cleveland Starbucks.
Yet before you write yourself off as “common,” understand that you have infinite worth, and that there has never been nor will there ever be another person just like you in the entire universe. Now that may sound really heavy, but the reality is that the world needs you and the special gifts you bring. You are entirely unique, and it is the internal part of you, your character and love that add value to the world and make you irreplaceable.
In the Hebrew scripture God says to people, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16). It is a picture of God’s love, attention and care. There are many people that can identify with Giorgio, looking for someone to accept them and extend compassion into their lives. Perhaps you are one of them; know that you have so much value that God has written your name on the palm of his hand. Or maybe you know someone like Giorgio. Never underestimate how much worth you can add to their life. Again Lewis shares, “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You to? I thought I was the only one.’”
So the next time you go to Starbucks and order a latte in, remember that cost and value are two very different things, and that yours is out of this world.