I was reminded today of a trip several years ago to the York County Fair. My wife and I decided to spend a few dollars and tour the sideshow, just off the carnival midway. It was painted with the typically sensational murals – the bearded lady, the world’s smallest woman and the like.
Having never been to what used to be rather cruelly called a “freak show” before I didn’t know what to expect. My experience that evening was so excruciatingly uncomfortable it remains a vivid memory: people on display, to be looked at like specimens in cages, oddities behind glass. Except that they weren’t behind glass! They were on display and in most cases in little more than cages and boxes – and as I looked at them, they looked at me. Nothing separating me from them; and as I looked into their eyes I realized that they were people – living, breathing creations of a Loving God. And it was wrong. Just so starkly wrong that I couldn’t stay and complete the “tour.” I was ashamed of myself for having gone in to begin with.
I was reminded of this by a movie we watched tonight called “The Butterfly Circus.” One scene takes place in a circus sideshow and as the barker prepares to throw back the curtain he says, “a man [so deformed] that even God has turned his back on him.”
The group I’m with talked for a few minutes tonight about that single line; “even God has turned his back.” I was excited to be able to say to them, “That is not the way God works!”
We may feel worthless and insignificant, but in God’s eyes we have infinite value. Humanity looks on the outward things. God looks on the inward things and examines our heart. Our worth is not determined by the value that others place upon us, but by the value that God places upon us. There is nothing about us that’s accidental or insignificant. Because of Christ, we are filled with promise and purpose. That makes all the difference in the world.