Self Worth and Harper Lee

Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to be old and look back on my life.

This may seem silly for a 27 year old, just on the cusp of life as an adult, but it’s been rolling around in my head lately, ever since I finished In the Shadow of Your Smile.

I got a review copy free from Tyndale Rewards and loved it. I think of it as being in that sweet spot Modern Mrs. Darcy refers to between literature and fluff. It was deep without being too heavy to bear, and an easy read without being worthless.

Noelle wakes up after a head injury to find that memory loss has erased all 25 years of her marriage and landed her back at a moment during her college days.

I can’t really identify. I’m unmarried, still dreaming about the future, and I haven’t been through any of the tragedies Noelle has survived.

But the way she keeps looking at her life, as a stranger that doesn’t recognize it, got me thinking.

If that happened to me, would I look around at the world I woke up in and think, “yeah, this looks like something that fits me,” or would I wonder who gave me a brain transplant in the intervening years?

The thought was brought back afresh today when I was reading this article about Harper Lee. I read last week that her lost manuscript had been found and thought what joy that must have brought her! I had no idea how much controversy it would spawn from people afraid it would be mediocre in comparison to what she has already done.

But does that matter? A woman with such a gift of story telling, I think, will not disappoint us. But even if she does, will it define her life as worthless?

It’s like people think the only thing that give her life any worth are the things done in the public eye. And since she’s not doing publicity for the book, and since she’s stayed out of the limelight so long, her value must depend on how good Go Set a Watchman is, right?

I was listening to the Art of Celebration, by Rend Collective, today and I realized after awhile listening that I was feeling pretty good about myself, uplifted and encouraged toward confidence. I started wondering what did this since the lyrics are mostly in praise to God.

Then I realized that it’s knowing who God is that gives us the confidence to know ourselves, just like my dog walks better and more confidently when he knows I have a firm confident hand on the leash, it’s nice to hear God say “I Am” and know that He knows himself and how far His power has gone and can go.

He made me, He did well, and my life matters far beyond anything I’ll ever do in the public eye. And so does Harper Lee’s.

That said, I really can’t wait to read Go Set a Watchman when it comes out later this year! And when I do, I’ll remember how much my life is worth in the eyes of God. Yours too.

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