It seemed like a worthless find.
Antique dealer Robert Webber discovered it among a large collection of books for which he had just paid $500. It was old, for sure – dated 1827. But it was ugly and bore a ring stain from a drinking glass on its dark brown cover. The book was a collection of poems entitled Tamerlane, its author only identified as “A Bostonian.”
Robert’s wife wanted to keep it, but his first inclination was to discard or sell it cheap. So he placed it in his shop among some old pamphlets on farm machinery and fertilizer, with a price tag of $18. But when a customer came in and offered $15 for the old, ugly book, Robert Webber promptly took the money.
Too bad for Robert. The customer (whose identity is a closely guarded secret) checked with Sotheby’s and found the ugly, old volume, a self-published book, to be the very first book by a famous author. The “Bostonian” turned out to be Edgar Allen Poe and this serendipitous find, considered to be the rarest and most valuable book in American literature, was eventually auctioned for $198,000.
In a way each of us is like that ugly, old book. We’re so convinced of our own worthlessness. Unfortunately, our immense value remains obscured to most people, but it is particularly hidden from us. Consequently, we all too often sell ourselves cheap to the lowest bidder.
But God knows our true worth and he paid the highest possible price for us – the life of His own Son. And so the Scripture tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) and “I pray … that you may understand how gloriously rich God has become by inheriting you.” (The Living Bible, Ephesians 1:18)
Dear Father in heaven, open my eyes that I may understand the value You place upon me and the vast price You paid for me. Grant this, dear Lord, that I may live a life worthy of a true child of God. Amen.