Thursday, November 3, 2011


Wednesday nights are Family Night LIFE at church.  Parker goes one way, Faith goes another way and Scott and I go another way to join the parents/adults for our own study.  Last night we watched a video featuring one of the most passionate speakers I have ever heard.  Her name is Christine Caine.  I had not heard of her before, but will certainly be doing some digging to find more opportunities to listen/watch her.

So one of the things she talked about in her video last night was that sometimes we can get overwhelmed by numbers.  For example, there are currently more than 27 million slaves in existence today.  More now than at any other time in history.  27 million.  Think about that for a minute.


So I decided this morning to do a little research:
I'm sure if I kept digging I could find more staggering statistics on heart-wrenching global issues.  But I think you get the point that these are some very significant issues attached to very large numbers.

So I also got to thinking about numbers in another way.  Ever notice how often we are defined by numbers?  Think about it:

  • A Birth Certificate is completed when we are born.  This certificate has a number that corresponds to our name.
  • Social Security numbers correspond to our name
  • Students of all ages...elementary school through college...have Student ID numbers
  • When you get old enough to drive you get a driver's license number
  • Your car has a license plate number
  • You get a job, you get an Employee Number
  • You go to the doctor or a hospital and you get a Patient ID Number
  • You probably have a phone number (at least one), a house/apartment number, a bank account number, PIN number, library card number, debit/credit card number
Then there are other ways numbers play a part in our lives, too:
  • Our age is a number
  • Our birth date is a number
  • There's height, weight, shoe size and pants/shirt/dress size
We sure do a lot of number-crunching, don't we? what's my point here?  It's this...

No one in this world is a number.

As Christine said in the video we watched last night, when you think about 27 million slaves in the world today, that number is over.whelming.  Who am I, one thinks, that I can make a difference in the lives of 27...million...people?

I can't.  You can't.

But each of those 27 million people is one person.  One.  It amounts to 27 million, ONES.

When you break it down that way, the number doesn't seem quite as overwhelming.  Hey...maybe I CAN do something about whatever it is that stirs the passion my heart.

Maybe for some of're just trying to get through your own life, much less having the energy to worry about something/someone else.  If this is so, please let me know so I can keep you in my thoughts and prayers.  But remember don't have to climb the entire staircase all at once.  You can break it down to

We CAN make a difference in those numbers when we don't let it overwhelm us.  We can't allow hearing "27 million" or "925 million" to scare us off.  We are all "ones"...and together all of us "ones" can affect millions of people.

So my number thoughts keep coming.  What about all those numbers that get assigned to us?  All those numbers that when we do things such as call the doctor's office, they ask for our date of birth and patient ID number.  When we call the car insurance company they ask for our our date of birth and our driver's license number.  The bank asks for our account number.  Your paycheck has your employee number referenced on it.  You call to order pizza for delivery and they need your phone number and house number.

For some of us, our view of ourselves are based on the number of our years..."I'm 'X' years old.  I am too young/too old to make a difference."  The number on the scale can affect the way we see ourselves...I'm too fat...I'm just right...that person is too fat...that person is too thin...I wish I was a size X instead of the size I am.

When Faith was a baby we had some issues at the hospital she was going to.  We sat down with the person in charge and shared our concerns.  I asked this person if Faith had a number?  The person wasn't quite sure what I meant so I clarified by saying, "Does Faith have an ID number that corresponds with her name?"  Understanding my question now, she responded, "OH...of COURSE she does!  All of our patients have an ID number."

My response was this:

"That's great.  But Faith is NOT that number!  She is not a number in your system.  She is Faith Marie Johnson.  She is six months old.  She was born six weeks early and diagnosed with Retinoblastoma when she was two days old.  She has an older brother named Parker, who is five.  Her daddy is, Scott.  I'm Jeanine, her mommy.  She has a green blankie that she must sleep with.  She likes to be snuggled.  She lives in Delano.  She has a puppy.  She likes bananas.  THAT is who she is.  She is NOT a number!"

I must say that I was surprised at the passion that came with those words.  I think the person we were meeting with was a little surprised, too...not to mention my husband!

We are not numbers, people.  We are not statistics.  God did not create us and assign us a number or put us in a statistical category.  We are not, "Child Number 123,456,789".  We are not assigned to categories such as poverty, slavery, orphaned, lower class, middle class, upper class, smart, dumb, beautiful, ugly, fat, thin, tall, short...


...we're not!

He knows every inch of us...every hair on our head...every beat of our heart.  He knows US like no one else knows us and he does not see the things of this earth.

When the time comes for us to meet Him...face-to-face...we will not be welcomed into heaven by a number.  We will not be assigned a category.  We will not be greeted by, "Child Number 123,456,789 assigned to Category X, has arrived."

No...He will KNOW who are without some silly number.  He will KNOW who we are because he knows every.single.thing about us.  We will not need to present an ID number.

Instead I imagine Him to say, "Welcome, my beautiful, beautiful Child" and He will embrace us with only the love and compassion that is Him.

Wishing you a peaceFULLYsimple day.

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