Hi, I'm Molly.
A few years ago a woman read the book You Are Special, by Max Lucado to our homeschool group. Yes, this is a children’s book and we were all adults. She wasn’t recommending the story for us to read to our children. She was recommending this book for us as homeschoolers. Now, I’m recommending it to writers.
As she read the story of Punchinello, I became intrigued. But by the time she finished the thirteenth page I was swallowing a lump in my throat and fighting back the tears that threatened to spill in front of my fellow homeschooling moms.
You see, You Are Special, is a story about a simple wooden man trying with all his might to be seen as good, yet somehow he continually fails. The story begins by describing a town filled with wooden people who, as the author describes, spends their day giving out gold stars (kind of like book reviewers) to the beautiful and accomplished, or gray dots to the homely and deficient. At first, I thought it sounded silly. It didn’t relate to the real world. Didn’t they go to work? People don’t really spend their entire day judging.
Or do they?
Yes, we do go to work, school or church and try to be productive in these places. But while there, we too often spend our time giving out stickers (metaphorically, of course). Or just as bad, we allow others to stick them to us.
So what choked me up on thirteenth page? It’s the one where poor Punchinello performs for his gold star, but falls short, receiving dots instead. He tries to fix the problem, only to get more gray dots. Then, he works harder, to find he’s scratched his paint, and … you guessed it … gets even more. Oh, little fella, I relate. My heart ached for this wooden man, and I must admit, for me too.
So what’s a poor, dot-covered creature to do? Does he have the power to make those marks slip away? Not one for spoilers, I’m not going to tell you. You have to get the book. You won’t be sorry. However, I will mention the remedy also removes the gold stars.
Good for you, Max Lucado, for including this!!!
Because even the stars given by other wooden creatures are unnecessary when one has this cure.
Who is giving you gray dots and what are you going to do about them?
Connie is currently a semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). She also writes the What’s Your Story column, interviewing debut fiction authors for the My Book Therapy Ezine. Come visit her on one of her other blogs:
The Parable of the Talents, as it is often called, is a story Jesus told of a master who entrusted each of his servants with a weight of currency, measured in “talents.” The one given five, used the currency to make five more. The servant given two made two more. And the servant given one, buried it (to keep it safe) and gave it back just as it was received. The first two servants were rewarded for their work. The last was stripped of the property and thrown into darkness where there’d be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Ouch! To think, he was the over-protective one, too!
And yet, who do I relate to the most. Ugh! Dare I say it? The one behind door number three. The guy who buried the talent so he wouldn’t lose it, not realizing that by using it, he could acquire more. He just wanted to keep it for himself and was not concerned with advancing the earnings of the master who’d given it to him.
What does God want you to do with what He has entrusted to your care?
Let’s look at the word “talent” for a sec. What does it mean in this passage, and what should it mean to us? The word in the Bible means a particular measurement, used for metals of currency like silver and gold. The amount would change based on the current law, but one source suggested it was approximately what a man could carry. The word ‘talent’ as we use to describe our special gifts or abilities today, seems to come from the same root.
So what does this passage say to us? Is it telling us to go dump all our savings into the stock market expecting to double it? I somehow doubt that.
It’s just too coincidental that the word “talent” is used here at all. Yes, it is used elsewhere, clearly indicating a measurement of currency, but just like when other verses talk about bearing fruit we know it’s not about gardening, there is a bigger meaning here, too. God wants us to use our talents!
It’s also important to note that these talents are first given by God, then used for God and lastly are added to from God’s Abundant Bounty. These are His property and you have been entrusted with it. This is not meant to burden you with a commission, because although it may be a commission to use the talent you’ve been given, it will not, in the end, be a burden … especially when you see how He will reward you with more.
That’s what the passage says: use the talent for Him and He will give you more.
It is also important to note that He wants us to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks to do so. That is where servant number three went wrong. He was afraid. We need to be bold and know God gave these to us so we would use them. Then we will understand what it means to “come and share your Master’s happiness" (Matt 25:23b).
Finding wholeness in Christ: http://livingthebodyofchrist.blogspot.com/
Group blog: http://infinitecharacters.com/