“…but the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30
As I gaze out my window on a pleasant spring-like day, I find myself focused on our lawn. Not on the entire lawn, but on a particular blade of grass. I imagine myself removing that one blade among the multitude and planting it in a trimmed down small empty milk carton; like one of those we used in grade school to grow seedlings as a class project. I inspect this most favored of grass blades from our lawn. Most favored because by my removing it and setting it apart, it stands alone as a representative of its species. There is no other blade of grass in the world that is its double. In its aloneness and by my favor for it, this blade is distinct and therefore important. I cannot help but to think of its individuality, uniqueness and the purpose it serves when it is returned to the lawn from which it was extracted.
Are not any one of the flora and fauna in the world individual, unique and with purpose? Some do their part to provide a cool cushion for bare feet on a warm summer day. Some as a beautiful adornment to the environment that favors the eye of we who are most fortunate to behold. Others in the natural hierarchy of life are a most sacred example of sacrifice in that they provide sustenance for the level of life above it. Minerals are subject to plants, plants are subject to animals, and plant and animal are subject to humans for the purpose of life-sustaining nourishment.
If one blade of grass can be so exalted and made to stand apart from the multitude of grass that ever was, is, or will be throughout the world, then cannot any form of life be so exalted and be singled out as important. Is not the particular mineral that nourishes a particular plant important to that plant? Is not the particular plant that nourishes a particular animal important to that animal? And, likewise, is not the particular mineral, plant, animal or fish that nourishes a particular human not important to that human? Given this, should not individual men, women and children who are so endowed beyond the lower levels of life with the capacity of reason, logic, common sense and love then be so esteemed, as well?
“Now Caiaphas was he that gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” – John 18:14
Was Caiaphas’ counsel born of logic, reason or political fear? In one film of the Star Trek series, The Voyage Home(1986), crewman Chekov is in trouble, Spock insists that the crew save him, even at risk of jeopardizing the crew’s vital mission to save Earth and everyone on it. Kirk asks, “Is this the logical thing to do?” Spock answers, “No, but it is the human thing to do.” Spock reaffirms his claim that the needs of the many logically outweigh the needs of the few (or the one), and here he is in keeping with Caiaphas. However, Spock then, contrarily, suggests that sometimes we must do the “human” thing, not the logical thing, and put the needs of the few (or the one) first; emphasizing individual uniqueness and importance. This dialogue first shows, as does Christ’s example, that no greater love is there than to give up one’s life for his friends. Yet, the life being given is no less important than those being saved. And in the event of the Crucifixion; this one solitary life is of divine importance, for it is the Creator sacrificing Himself for His creatures. Caiaphas’ council to the Jews, may, in his opinion, have been the expedient action to take, but was not necessarily the right action to take. Yet, to reconcile God with the world, sacrifice was the only action that could be taken. Spock’s dilemma was between logic and humanness. The dilemma of the Crucifixion was between humanness and divinity. For it would have been human to come down from the cross. However, it was divine to hang there.
Assigning value to a person, place or thing then determines its importance. When that value is considered beyond any price then its loss would be intolerable.
Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it? – Luke 15:8
What think you? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray? – Matthew 18: 12-14
All that comes from God’s thought is important. For God is love. The true test of the importance of a thing is to what extents will love go to sustain it. Christ’s parables reveal that God so loves us that He will never stop pursuing, encouraging and forgiving until He wins our favor over all other worldly influence. Hence, the blade of grass is returned to its fold, the lost coin to the woman and the wayward lamb to the shepherd. And returned home is each of us – a child of God – to Our Father.
The love of God, of which we are all a product, is boundless. It is no wonder then that we should be compelled to pursue persistently that which is lost or gone astray. And in so doing acknowledge the divine importance in all things and peoples.