Jesus loves us and greatly values us. That sounds simple, but I am afraid that most of us just don’t really get it. We don’t even begin to grasp how much love God has for us, how deeply he values us. I want to, but I think I’m continually coming up short.
Maybe it’s because the concept sounds so elementary that we just don’t think about it as adults. Maybe it’s because of our years of self-disappointment. Or is it all the people who have weighed in on our failures and short-comings? All those who found us lacking in some way or another? It’s probably different for each of us, but I don’t think most of us get it.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul writes and says that “we are God’s handiwork (TNIV).” The NIV uses the word “workmanship” and the NLT uses “masterpiece” (I particularly like that one). But none of these fully capture what’s being said here.
The Greek word (sorry to break out my nerdy word-loving side for a second) is “poeima.” Sound familiar? It’s the word from which we derive our word “poem“. So Paul is literally saying, “We are God’s poem.” Consider the depth of what this means about us! We are not just the product (or by-product) of God’s ability to create. We are an expression of the artist that is God.
Poetry, like all forms of art, is not practical or utilitarian. Poems are expressions of beauty, expressions of the heart. They are extravagant and often over the top. They intend to communicate the heart, the emotion of the artist. And each one is unique. Each one is expressive and different. It’s what makes a poem special and valuable.
The way you were created, the way you look, your build, the skills you possess, everything that makes you, well, you. It was not just a random process. It’s tempting for us to begin to think of God as just cranking people out and each one is just randomly different from the last. And so some people get luckier than others with looks or brains or whatever else we place value on. But that’s not it. To God, every one of us is poetry. We are works of art in God’s eyes, made with intentionality and love. We are expressions of the Artist.
We have immense value to God, because we are an expression of him. When I think of this in terms of poetry it becomes so clear. Poetry is often used as a way to express love. And that is what we are: God’s poetry. God’s expression of love. God’s artistry.