Yesterday, I told you a little about our trip to prison, so if you missed that, today’s post won’t make much sense. I hope you’ll click back to read that post first.
(From the Archives) ~
My daughter-in-law, Lindsey, went with me and we later talked about how humbling it was to watch the women’s response to their Christmas gifts. The women’s faces lit up, as we handed each one a white t-shirt and single pair of cotton socks. The t-shirt and socks were nothing fancy, were actually plain and a little ugly, but the inmates were so appreciative and thanked us repeatedly. When they lined up at the door to leave, we handed each one a goodie bag, and as they took it, they looked like young children on Christmas morning.
It struck me that these women believe that they are completely undeserving of even the smallest gift.
As I walked around the room, speaking with different inmates, they told me how much they looked forward to this day; a simple Christmas celebration. There was no tree, no lights, no wrapped gifts, no turkey and dressing or ham, no family members exchanging hugs. It was a sparse celebration, but these women were delighted with the small tokens we shared. They clung to the small gifts from the chaplain’s program and for a brief moment most gave us a smile with their voiced thank-you.
My heart was wrenched in two, wanting them to know there is a much more valuable gift that’s been given and available to them. I tried to share with them that God does care for them, no matter how worthless they feel they are. I want them to understand that none of us deserve His gift, but our value is measured by the cost of His gift.
We tried to communicate to them that their worth and value is based on God’s love for them; God’s love that was demonstrated clearly at the cross.
The cross is our true measure to know our worth and value.
The cross is where we recognize how undeserving we are, but how gracious God is.
The cross reveals the costliest gift ever shared.
[box]For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)[/box]
[box]. . . You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18–19)[/box]
Do you know you are valuable because of God’s gift?
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net