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Is It Still Valuable?
by Tonja Taylor
1/11/2021 / Education
A few years ago, I taught fourth grade at a small rural public school.
During the first couple of days, I was working to establish positive and deper relationships with them as a class. I also wanted them to know I thought of them each as unique and beloved individuals.
I took a $100 bill out of my Monopoly math sets, and held it up in front of the group.
"Pretend this is real," I said. "Who wants it?"
Every hand went up.
"John, why would you want this?"
"I can spend it!" he said.
"You mean it's valuable," I said.
"Right, valuable," he repeated.
Then I suddenly crumped the bill, threw it down, and stomped on it.
The entire class was engaged, and I heard a few surprised "What?" noises.
I picked up the bill and held it up again. "Now would you want it?"
Several students nodded.
"But it's dirty and crumpled," I said. "Cindy, why would you want it?"
"'Cause it's still--valued?"
"Right," I said. "Valuable. That means it's worth something."
Several students nodded.
Then, to the shock of several of my kiddos, I ripped it to bits, then threw those down and stomped on them.
"What is she doing?!" asked a couple
I certainly had their attention!
"Sometimes," I said, as I looked at several of them and held their gaze a few seconds longer than normal, "you may feel stomped on and crumpled and dirty; even ripped to bits and stomped on again."
I gathered up all the bits and held them in my hand, then covered them with the other hand.
"I understand that, for I've felt that way too--many times"
I got the tape and arranged the pieces on my podium at the front of the class, and quickly taped them together in dollar form.
I held it up. "Now, who wants this $100 bill?" I said, looking at other students
There were tears in a few eyes. A few hands came up.
"I do,Mrs Taylor," said Timothy.
"Thanks, Tim, but why do you want this dirty torn bill?"
"Because it's still, uh...."
"Valuable!" Cindy said.
"Yes, valuable!" I said "It is still worth something. Even though it's been very torn and crumpled and dirtied and stomped on, the value of it still remains the same!"
I paused a bit, then continued with, "And it's the same with YOU! I want you to know that, no matter how beat down or messed up you feel, you are always very valuable to God, and to me. You value is priceless! Never forget that, OK?"
There were tears in my eyes then, and I saw some in my sweet students' eyes as well
"I didn't intend to cry today," i said, and smiled "But these are happy tears. I just want you to know that I love you!"
My sweeties smiled and some came up to hug me. "I love you too, Mrs. Taylor!" many of them said, and some drew me pictures with hearts.
May we all remember that the LORD Jesus died for us--and the blood He shed makes us valuable beyond compare, no matter what happens!
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. -- Luke 12:7, NIV
Tonja K. Taylor is a joyful, free worshiper, teacher, author, wife, and mother who adores helping others know the sweet faithfulness of God. Through her YouTube channel, "River Rain Creative Arts" and other platforms, she tutors people around the world in faith, worship, writing, health, and more.
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