It was Judy Pinkleton’s 17th birthday. She was a rather refined young lady who had an eye for precious things. She knew her fashion and insisted on only wearing the best. Some of her friends were not aware of this. Tom had befriended Judy most recently. They were lab partners in High School. Tom had a little crush on Judy and hoped to impress her. He had found what he thought to be the loveliest scarf he had ever seen. It was red with all kinds of bears on it, in a variety of positions all holding hearts. Surely this would express Tom’s affection. He wrapped it up and it was all prepared for Judy.
Into the classroom she came. With her head held high, wearing the best and smelling like a breath of fresh air. For Tom she was perfection. He swallowed hard and felt his heart racing. She went passed Tom quickly, without saying a word, but did manage to give him a quick look. She immediately started a conversation with her childhood friend Samantha Hoogens. Samantha’s taste was a bit more down to earth, but she knew Judy had a good heart if you could get pass all the high price gear. Judy talked fast and was obviously excited, explaining all her wonderful plans for the evening. Tom sheepishly made his way to her and somehow blurted out “Happy birthday” as he handed her the gift. The conversation came to a halt and a moment of awkward silence followed. Then Judy took the gift and said thank you Tom, how nice of you. I guess I’ll open it.” As she opened it a rather disappointed look came over her as she stared at the scarf. She seemed lost for words and finally said “Well thank you Tom this will definitely come in handy” and she quickly hid it back in the box and then continued her conversation with Samantha.
Tom quietly walked away feeling very much like a fool. Later while Judy and Samantha were walking home they noticed Tom sitting on a bench looking miserable. Samantha turned to Judy, “Isn’t that Tom? Do you think he likes you?” Judy laughed and then paused. “You think?” Judy had always thought Tom socially awkward, yet handsome. She walked over to Tom and just asked him “Hey Tom I’m having a party tonight would you like to come over?” Tom’s face lit up “Certainly, Judy I would love to.” Judy simply said “Great. I’ll see you then.” She started to walk away when Tom stopped her “Judy, if you didn’t like the scarf I can take it back and get you something else” Judy turned and looked at Tom. It was, as if for the first time she realized the importance of the gift. It wasn’t the quality or the price tag that mattered. The value was in who had given it. She looked at Tom and then at the box and said “No Tom, I think I’ll keep it. It’s starting to grow on me.” She gave Tom a smile and added “Make sure you come Tom” and she turned and walked away.
Jesus said “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31) He also said, “For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?” (Matthew 16:26) Scripture makes it clear and Jesus specifically revealed the great value of every life or soul. According to Jesus you could take everything of value in the world and make one big pile of it, and it still would not compare to the value of a life or a soul. We are of incredible, immeasurable value. Imagine if we could treat each other with our true value in mind. Judy came to realize that the scarf may not have had much monetary or fashion value, but the gift giver, Tom, had much value indeed.
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