Last One Picked
“Pick Dean, he’s fast.” a girl shouted out.
“We pick Dean. Your turn” her friend yelled.
“Kevin, we want you!” another voice called.
My mind wandered through flashbacks of schoolyard recess and lunch breaks. I recalled knowing where I ranked in popularity. If I wasn’t last I was sure to be picked second to last.
“Number 21” the voice over the loud system brought me back to reality. “Go sit at the far left on the front bench.”
I nervously stood up, my mind repeating “Left, left, left.” As I sat down in front of forty-five fellow jurors I hear over the PA, “no, the other end.” It never occurred to me that she could being saying HER left.
The judge broke the silence “Bailiff what is her number?”
“Twenty one” she repeated. He wrote something down, no doubt recording my mistake.
While the rest of the potential candidates were seated my mind flipped back and forth between hoping I wouldn’t be chosen and wondering how I would feel if I wasn’t. I wasn’t just number twenty-one–I was Shawna, the awkward skinny girl that wasn’t wanted. All of a sudden the room felt hot and I had to remove a layer.
In the days following I have reflected on my emotions. Of course I was valued, although I wasn’t selected I had played an important role in supporting a fair trial and ultimately upholding freedom. As for my childhood memories they contrasted greatly to what I had experienced later in life.
Although it took years of God’s healing He has shown me that it doesn’t matter what others think of me. In fact what surprised me most was as soon as I quit worrying what others thought, it was then that God was able to use me. Why? Perhaps because I no longer looked to others as my source of value but instead reveled in the knowledge I was of value to Him. I was a unique member of His family, one of a kind, born to do a job specifically tailored for me. What others thought of me no longer mattered. What if He had given me the job before He had mended my heart? It may not have been a gift but a stumbling block, one that may have taken me out with pride. Looking back I’m thankful for the “schoolyard” life experiences that have taught me where not to find my self worth.
I’m human, and occasionally I’m thrown into situations where I’m tempted to slip back into my insecure self. When it happens I call out to my heavenly Father who reminds me I’m of value to Him, enough value that He gave up His only son for me! Now, that is value!
“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39 NLT