Throughout my life, God has spoken to me about the value of human life. He hasn’t just spoken to me about my own value, but everyone’s inherent value. Sometimes, I would feel compassion well up within me when I would look at people. It was as though God would whisper to me, “I love them,” when I’d look at a family member who had hurt me, a bully, a student with fetal alcohol syndrome, a person being made fun of, or a suicidal person.
God spoke directly to my heart about this when I was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. As people were finding out about the deployment, they shared an array of comments concerning how I should view the war in Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Most of the perspectives upset me. I prayed and asked God how I should view the Afghan people and others that I would meet in Afghanistan. He simply said, “They have value because I love them.” That was freeing. I chose to view them in that way. I remember the first time I saw Afghans: two men were walking on a path. God’s love welled up within me. I wanted to tell them that Almighty God loves them dearly, but as an English-speaking woman, I ran into language and cultural barriers.
In Kuwait, I began to feel God’s heart for people in this world. God was silent in the desert. I chose to respond to His silence by drawing closer to Him. In drawing closer, I learned to feel God’s heart for people. Now, at times, I simply feel like crying for victims, for the lonely, the oppressed, and the rejected.
In London, my cohort and our professors sat in the Gamble Room (pictured above) of the main café in the Victoria and Albert Museum and reflected on our experiences there. That day, God had reminded me of His love for people. The Victoria and Albert museum is immense with upwards of 2.2 million artifacts on display. While walking through the museum, I couldn’t help but see worthless inanimate objects compared to the immensely valuable people walking through the museum. God doesn’t value things more than people. Each person is far more valuable to Him than any artifact carefully displayed in a museum.
It is important to make a distinction between God’s view of people and the prevalent views in our world. Some people value others for their talents, net worth, skills, education level, social status, beauty, wealth, age, skin color, humor, etc. The list goes on and on. Some people value things or animals more than people. Some people value money more than people.
I’m thankful that God doesn’t value our skills more than He values each of us. He doesn’t value our productivity or creativity more than he values us. And, He doesn’t value us based on factors that we can or cannot change about ourselves. He simply loves us.
My heart hurts for the people who believe they aren’t worth anything to anyone. It’s simply not true. I think I am beginning to gain a deeper understanding of his love for each human being.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16