I was feeling optimistic, confident, and excited to spend the day in Chicago with my family. Traffic slowed as we neared the city which gave us ample time to stare up at the massive buildings. We continued along the lakeshore until we found a parking spot. It was country mile away from the hustle and bustle, but we pulled in because it would only cost ten dollars for the whole day rather than twenty bucks an hour smack dab downtown - our typical money saving M.O. We meandered our way on foot through side streets and gawked at the beautiful architecture of old townhouses embellished with ornate trim, while craning our necks to peer through tall glass windows that displayed elegant chandeliers. This landscape was a far cry from our neck of the woods. Traditional ranch style homes along with an occasional old farmhouse and dilapidated barn are scattered throughout our rural area.
We finally reached our destination – the Magnificent Mile. We gazed in store windows such as Tiffany & Co and Saks Fifth Avenue, not the typical places I’m used to patronizing at our local strip mall. However, we were on an adventure and enjoyed being out of our element. As we navigated our way through the busy streets, I looked around and noticed several chic women carrying designer purses and Gucci shopping bags. Suddenly, the fact that I was carrying a hand me down purse made me feel less confident and a little inferior to those I was passing by. I worried my insecurity was as noticeable as the roots of my overdue hair color. It’s called the Windy City for good reason so, with mustered tenacity, I zipped up my jacket as if it were a piece of armor necessary in fighting this internal battle.
We turned the corner and suddenly there it was in all its glory, the Gucci store. After seeing all the bags, I had to check it out. I pulled on the gold-plated door handles and quickly noticed security guards strategically placed throughout the store. My husband made a beeline for the velvet chair in the corner while our daughter and I wandered over to the display of sunglasses…that were fastened to the wall. I flipped over one price tag and nearly choked on my gum. Two Thousand and Five Hundred Dollars!?!? I could have sworn the employees were looking at me like I was Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman so I tried to play it cool, but by the time we left the store, I was shaking my head in shock.
I believe we could all use a good reminder from time to time. Therefore, my point in telling this silly story is not to debate if buying an expensive pair of sunglasses is right or wrong, good or bad but to share a freeing truth I recalled while trying on those fancy shades. It’s simply this: Our Net Worth does not determine our Self-worth. Regardless if we are wearing Gucci sunglasses or no sunglasses, in God’s eyes, we all have equal value. It makes no difference if we live in the city or country, whether we married for rich or for poor, He deems each of us worthy recipients of His unconditional love. It is free yet so valuable. His love meets the deepest need in our heart which money can’t buy or ever satisfy.
“How precious is your unfailing love, O God!” Psalm 36:7