Not long ago, we went to a birthday party at Cici’s Pizza.
Immediately, the flashing arcade lights beckoned all the children, and off they all ran together, carrying baggies of coins and little prizes.
“Do you have any money, Mommy?” my daughters asked, almost in unison.
I cringed at the hope in their voice.
“I don’t know…” I stammered. “Let me check.”
The girls danced in front of me, clapping with joy. The pressure was officially on.
I unzipped my bag, said a quick prayer and eventually scrounged up a little change for them both.
With smiles and thanks, they dashed off to join their cousins and friends. Moments later, they returned, their smiles somehow even bigger than before.
“Mom! Guess what we got!” they said, the big surprise concealed in their tiny, closed fists. The rest of their coins were gone. They’d spent everything on whatever was hiding in their hands.
“Diamonds!” They opened their hands, displaying their shiny, new gems, enclosed safely in a plastic container.
I feigned a gasp. “Wow! How beautiful!”
“Can I take mine out and hold it?” my youngest asked.
“Of course, but be careful. We don’t want to lose it.”
My three-year-old nodded solemnly, sealing her oath with a death grip on her finest jewel.
For days, the kids went everywhere—and I mean everywhere—with those cherished diamonds tucked tightly into the crevices of their palms.
It got me thinking about us—about you and me and all of humanity.
About how when God made people, He put a small piece of Himself inside every single one of us. This immortal sliver of divinity—our soul—glitters and shines from within us, like an invaluable jewel.
And yet, how often do we fixate more on our bodies—our plastic containers—than the immaculate gems inside? More often than not, it seems. We all tend to focus on and obsess about the shape and color of our casings. We point out differences. We compare and contrast. We make up lies about whose is best.
With those thoughts in mind, I turned to my five-year-old, whose immortal glittering diamond is older than most.
“What do you like about your diamond?” I asked.
“It’s just so beautiful,” she said. “I love it.”
“Would it matter to you what the case looked like?”
“Would it matter if the case was a different shape?”
“Would it matter if it was a different color?”
“Of course not, Mom,” she said, clearly resisting the urge to put her face in her palm.
“So why do you like the case? What makes it important?”
She lifted her prized possession and peered at the glorious jewel with awe. “I like it because it keeps my diamond safe.”
A smile spread onto my face as I nodded in agreement. “I couldn’t have said it better myself, kiddo.”
She’s right, after all. Our diamonds need protecting. There’s an enemy working hard to distract us from that part of ourselves, to convince us to defile it, or to flat out rob it from us.
But God knows how precious we are, and He wants us more than anything else.
So, our Father gave His Son everything He needed to win the prize of our souls. And because of Jesus’s incredible love for us, He took what He was given, and He spent it all. Every breath, every droplet of blood. He spent it. For you. For me. For every single one of us.
And, after giving up everything He had, he returned to the Father with a smile somehow bigger than ever before.
I can just imagine their exchange.
“Dad! Guess what I got!” Jesus would say, the big surprise concealed within the wounds on his wrists.
“All the diamonds.”
“Wow!” the Father would exclaim with genuine admiration. “How beautiful!”
“Can I hold them?”
“Of course, Son, but be careful. We don’t want to lose any of them.”
And then Jesus would nod, sealing His oath with a firm grip on His finest jewels, so He could go everywhere—and I mean everywhere—with those cherished diamonds tucked tightly into the crevices of His palms.