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Finding Value and Worth in Invisible People

an invisible person in a shirt at Finding Value and Worth in Invisible People post at Holy in the Daily

It is really hard to value invisible people. Most of the time I’m unaware of how I ignore and mentally dismiss people as unimportant. The clerk at the store becomes a tool to process my groceries. A mailman is faceless unless my mail is late. The homeless are remembered with a few cans of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving when I feel I need to get in the spirit of the season and give to the homeless shelter.

Yet, God places great value and worth in dismissed people. What we see on the outside of a person doesn’t equate what is inside the person–we can’t see the richness placed there by an unseen hand. One of my favorite poems, written in 1921 by Myra Brooks Welch, examines this thought beautifully.

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good folk?” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar … now two … only two …
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three” … but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.

Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
As he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars … and who’ll make it two?
Two…two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once and three thousand twice …
Three thousand and gone!” said he.

The people cheered, but some exclaimed
“We do not quite understand …
What changed it’s worth?” and the answer came:
“Twas the touch of the master’s hand.”

And many a man with soul out of tune
And battered and scarred by sin
Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd
Just like the old violin.

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the master’s hand.

O Master! I am the tuneless one
Lay, lay Thy hand on me,
Transform me now, put a song in my heart
Of melody, Lord, to Thee!

Who are the invisible people that cross your path each day? The next time you pick up your coffee at Starbucks, look the clerk in the eye and express your thanks. Notice a new employee at work and invite him or her out for coffee. Stop and visit with a new neighbor.

We are all capable of ignoring people and dismissing the value hidden within them by God. Who have you unknowingly dismissed? Whose melody are you missing?

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Lilly Green

    I used to feel invisible with the extra pounds I was carrying, still do at times because I’m still working at weightloss. I think we tend to not see heavy people as worthy as slender. We see the weight and subconsciously judge the value of the person. Why when they lose a few pounds do all the compliments come? Or those with disabilities? We look away to avoid seeming to stare. This is perhaps a bit off from where you were going, Susan, but there are invisible people all around us in even the places we work and go to church, people who we actually know and see regularly, but keep at a certain distance because of a flaw that makes them seem other and not as worthy.

    Lord, give me your eyes–the eyes of a kingdom person–to see the heart and not be distracted by what seems good or bad. Help me to see as you see and love as you love.

  2. Susan Gaddis

    Actually, you hit it spot on, Lilly. That is exactly along the lines of what I was thinking. We do tend to judge people by their appearance instead of what Jesus sees inside. Thanks for putting it so well. The weight issue is a great example.

  3. Heather

    I love the poem. My friend Mike started a business restoring violins which he called the Green Violin. His motto was the poem you just shared and he named the business after a used violin that he bought used, painted green. After he restored it he found it was a antique masterpiece.

  4. Melissa

    I love this…all of this.

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