I've read this story before on various occasions. Sometimes it really "gets" me, sometimes not so much. But yesterday, as I read it aloud to my son, I found myself getting choked up. If you're not familiar with the story, here's the summary from Amazon:
"Every day Wemmicks [small wooden people carved by a woodmaker named Eli] do the same thing--either stick gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones, those with smooth wood and fine paint, always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly, gray dots. Punchinello is one of these. In this delightful tale, children will love hearing how Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is--marks and all. It's a vital message for children everywhere: that God cherishes them just as they are."
The back of our abridged toddler version says, "It's a truth a child is never too young to hear." But I think it's a truth for people of all ages. Lately I've been caring too much about what others think, what their impressions of me are. But this story tenderly reminded me that it is my Maker who knows me best and who considers me one of His special children.
Here is the scene that spoke to my heart:
Eli: "What they [the other Wemmicks] think doesn't matter. All that matters is what I think. And I think you're pretty special."
Punchinello: (laughing) "Me, special? Why? I'm not very talented and my paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?"
Eli: "Because you're mine. That's why you matter to me."