I was talking with a mother and two of her daughters. One of her daughters was about seventeen years old and had donated her stem cells so her sister could receive them for her bone marrow transplant. The other daughter was in her early thirties and had come to provide support to her mother and her twenty-six year old sister who was having the transplant. As the two sisters were talking the seventeen year old was proud of the fact that she was the donor and was also proud of the fact that she was doing well in school and had plans to go on to medical school after she finished college. As the two sisters were talking back and forth all of a sudden it became apparent that there was some jealousy between them. Between the pride and the sarcastic digs of the younger sister and the verbal jabs of the older sister the next thing I knew they were pinching each other and then trying to bite each other.
While it stunned me to see this situation arise so quickly it also reminded me of how sensitive we all are about our status. Am I the favorite child? Am I the most talented? Am I the one everyone else depends on? So often our feelings about our worth depends on where we stand in the social order in our families, in our communities, in our jobs,or in the eyes of our friends. The seventeen year old was pretty sure her standing was quite high in her family of six sisters and one brother. The thirty plus year old was not so sure she had favored status.
Remember the old song that said, “Everyone is beautiful in his own way. Black or yellow red or white they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Good words to remember when we are sitting in a hospital room worrying if our sister is going to survive her bone marrow transplant. God loves all of us. God has created all of us. God has given His life for all of us. God has gifted all of us so that all of us are valuable and have something to offer to the world. It isn’t about how we compare to others. It’s how we look in the eyes of our Lord. In His eyes there is no need for any of us to feel superior or inferior but rather to feel grateful that we are who we are.
So if you wonder where you stand in the pecking order remember there is no pecking order in Jesus’ family. All of His disciples are His followers. All follow Him and serve one another.