There was a birthday in our family this month.
I have always marveled at why we celebrate birthdays.
In everything, every present, every surprise, every smile, I wanted to remind the birthday girl of how much she is loved. She is wanted in our family. We rejoice over the day she was born, when she began to exist as an independent yet irreplaceable member of our family.
Maybe reading an article about suicide influenced my passion. Oh, and a friend who almost died suddenly. Hard things that pushed me to make sure my loved ones know how much I really love them. I want to remind everyone in my life of how much they are worth. Remind them of their intrinsic value.
Intrinsic: Of or relating to the fundamental nature of a thing.
Inherent: Existing as an essential constituent or characteristic.
All humans are inherently valuable. All humans are made in the image of God, which makes Life precious.
My sister is valuable not just because of the things she does and the talents she has. I love to watch what she does. It is exciting to see her developing skills that I could never figure out. Those do not make up her value though. She is valuable because she is my sister. She is precious because God created her. I love her. Everything she does or becomes is just icing on the cake. She does not have to prove her worth because God has already declared it.
He has declared your worth too.
Of course humans do not always seem to live up to their worth. I am not dismissing the need for justice and punishments. There are consequences for our actions, no matter how valuable we are.
Still, at its core, Life is precious. Humans are valuable. Our value does not depend on our strengths. It is not determined by how others rank us. The One who created us tells us how much we are worth.
That is why we celebrate the day a new soul stands on its own, and behold how precious that human is, because they were loved before they added anything to the world.
Loved by God. And maybe some other humans too.