Max Lucado happens to be one of my favorite authors. Over the years I have enjoyed many of his books and his unique literary stamp: his love of the very short sentence, his liberal use of alliterations, and his sweet sense of humor. My most favorite book of his though happens to be one written for a much younger audience. You are Special portrays the main character, Punchinello, a somewhat miserable and discouraged little Wemmick. He compares himself to all the other Wemmicks and comes up short in his own estimation of himself. Others seem to agree with his assessment and give him liberal amounts of ‘dots’ which essentially equates to shame and criticism in our adult world. Other seemingly more successful Wemmicks have liberal amounts of stars for their vast achievements in sports, music, or other talents. They are walking in pride.
The star of the book though happens to be Lucia who does not have any dots OR stars sticking to her at all. Punchinello is in awe of this and wants to know how she does it. She takes him to meet the wood carver who obviously points to God, the Father. He helps her to see herself the way he sees her because he created her and neither the stars or the dots stick because she values his opinion more. He explains that they only stick when you let them.
I can’t tell you how many tears I have shed over this simple yet quite profound children’s book. I long to consistently live like Lucia and not have the piercing words of others or even the praise of others define who I am. Instead I need to continually go with childlike faith to my own Heavenly Father and Creator to let Him remind me of who I am in Him and the unique way He designed and fashioned me. Instead I sometimes choose to swing on the Pride/Shame pendulum and ride the highs and lows that each bring. It’s really not that fun or a very healthy way to live. How about you?
Maybe Lucia can help you and I remember to whom we should look each day. Will we let the accolades and praise of others puff us up and cause us to feel superior? Or will the biting words and sharp sting that others’ (or even our own!) words and actions bring ‘stick’ to and wound us? I for one want to live like Lucia and visit my own Carver every day and have Him remind me that I am His, that He is mine, and His opinion is the only one that truly matters. Let’s watch those stickers fall, friends!