Last week I was given a present from one of my students. Of course I was really happy. I like presents. But this present was a little unique.
There are two ways I could look at this present. This present is a small pink crocheted flower. Well, at least that is what it is supposed to be. If you look at it closely you can tell it's a flower. It's kinda misshapen. And a little funny looking.
But I love it.
The reason is because it was made by a 6 year old little girl. But I don't love it just because this little girl is cute. (she is super super cute by the way) I can also see how talented she is. The flower isn't close to perfect. But I know where she came from. I'm the one who taught her how to make this flower, back in July. Just one day she came for an event and learned how to make it. (She was also the fastest to learn how to crochet that day as well) So I'm not so much impressed at what she can do now, (which is pretty impressive considering she's 6!) but at how much potential she has. She still remembers how to crochet something I taught her 2 months ago! I think that's pretty amazing in itself. (this knowing that I probably wouldn't be able to do something like that myself. I forget details quickly.)
So I guess this reminds me of how God loves us. When he looks at us, he doesn't only look at the product (although that is important.) But he also looks at all the factors. Where we started, how far we've come, and how far we can go, how much effort we put into it, etc. So I can give God, the most horrible looking, misshapen flower, and he might love it more than a perfect one given by someone who didn't put love into making it. It's the difference of perspective. Kinda like how God accepted Abel's offerings, but rejected Cain's. Not because of what was offered, but because of the motivation behind it.
It's a bit of a relief to know that God will accept me and my offerings as long as I love him. I don't have to be perfect. Like a child I can offer up funny looking flowers to God, and he will treasure them. Of course, just like the little girl, I have room to improve. Someday, she will be able to make perfect flowers, and I will be even happier to receive that. But for now, the funny looking flower has a place of honor on my cell phone.