There once was a young orphan who, from time to time, would sneak outside of his poor neighborhood through a pathway in the woods that led him many miles over the county line and into a well-to-do area wherein he would play with the kids, then, when the day had ended, he would journey back through the woods to his orphanage.
One day as he was playing, one of the boys noticed the tennis shoes he was wearing were tattered and worn out—-a pair of no name brand shoes! Well, the boy began to tease and mock him, and soon all the kids joined in the jeering until it sent the orphan running back through the woods, crying as he went.
As he walked along, he stared down at his tattered tennis shoes, and shame swept over him like a wet blanket, smothering his young heart, until he cried out in the wood, “I’m a nobody! Nobody loves me! I will never fit in.” In that moment, many of his dreams died. In that moment his heart began to harden. In that moment bitterness took captive his soul.
As time passed, the young boy grew into a teen. He was in trouble always with the authorities. He bullied kids smaller than himself. He had no love or respect for anyone, but especially—himself.
One day, the administrator of the orphanage, summoned him to his office. When he arrived, he noticed an aged man sitting in a chair.
“Sit down Jamie.” The administrator asked. Jamie took a seat, a sneer on his face, sort of a mask to hide his fragile self.
“This man is a lawyer who has traveled many miles to bring you some good news.”
Jamie did not know how to respond—good news? That had never happened to him as he witnessed child after child adopted, leaving him in the orphanage.
The lawyer pulled out some paper work, place it on the desk in front of him and explained, “My name is Mr. Swift, of Swift and Sons Legal Group. We were given custody of an inheritance due you Jamie. It was ordered sealed until the opportune time, which is today.”
Jamie, surprised, questioned him, “But, sir, I am an orphan, I have no family.”
“Ah, but you do Jamie. An aunt who had chosen to remain anonymous, until her passing, has left you an inheritance of sizable proportions. But first, she asked of you one thing, do you still have the tennis shoes you wore when you were younger?”
Jamie, now elated, but worried that he had thrown those shoes away long ago confessed, “Sir, I threw them away many years ago!”
“She wanted you to know that she had written her name inside those shoes. And that when this day had arrived, she wanted you to know that she loved you, and that everyday when you wore those shoes her heart was with you.”
Jamie had a flash back to that day in the woods, when those shoes were the reason he had lost respect for himself. Tears welled up in his eyes, his crusty heart beat with hope again, he now knew that he was loved—he was somebody.
Our identity and self worth is confirmed in the Good News! It matters not who we are according to our flesh, we have a grand inheritance bequeathed to us before Time began! We are our Creator’s Image Bearers! We are not orphans, outsiders,— a nobody.
When we begin to live in the reality of this Truth daily, it seeps into our thinking, then our living and speaking! Suddenly, what others may think or say about us does not matter! We can now see them as Image Bearers who have not yet awakened to the Truth. We are able to love and not hate. To forgive and not hold grudges. To accept and not pass judgments.
Begin to enjoy your Inheritance!