I've never been a very good artist. When I was growing up, I had a best friend who was a much better artist than I was. Whenever we would draw pictures, for example, we would compare our work. Sometimes we would take it to an impartial judge (like our parents) to find out who's picture would win the best in our art show/contest. We didn't need a judge. Her's was better.
Whenever my mom would judge, though, she wouldn't admit it. "I like the colors you used in this one and I like that you put the dog in this one. They're both very good." Those are the kinds of statements she would make. I didn't understand why she would lie like that. It was so obvious that my friend's picture was better than mine. Why wouldn't she just admit it?
Over the years, I started seeing the way other people were raised. They would have voices in their head that came from their past as well. "You're stupid. You're an idiot. You'll never amount to anything." I've met people who were told they were a failure because they came in second place rather than first. I've met people who were told they weren't good enough because they didn't make the team, the club, or the academic cut. I've met people who were told that their sole value to the world is their body...giving it to anyone who asks. I've met people who are told that they are nothing but a sinner to the core. They're no good...and they never will be.
My heart breaks. Doesn't anyone tell them that they have value, that they have worth? When God created Adam and Eve, He made them in His image. When God created you and me, He created us in His image. His image is very good - excellent in every way. Everything God made is good...including you and me.
Now, maybe I understand my mom's words a little better. It's not about who's crayon picture is better. It's about helping the artist see the good in herself. So many people and places in this world tell me how I fall short. It's a rare blessing to find someone who helps me see His image in me. That's the kind of person I want to be. Thanks, mom, for modeling it so well for me. He truly shines through you.