SHOULDN'T feeling special be a universal blessing? Well, it is! We are, each and every one of us, special to God. The Bible says in Psalms, ``Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves'' (100:3).
Since God is Spirit, as the Bible states, it follows that man must of necessity be spiritual. In God's spiritual creation there is no dull repetition of ideas. Nothing created by God could be unnecessary, unimportant, or worthless. All that God creates reflects Him and must be perfect and precious. As we begin to understand and accept this, we'll see that we can each feel special because we are special to our Maker.
But we need to know God in order to feel His pleasure in us. The concept of God as an all-seeing eye who keeps track of our every misdeed, our every unkind thought, and condemns us for these, is a throwback to old theology. This outlook pictures God as being like mortals instead of taking into account that man's true nature is Godlike. We need to know God rightly to know man rightly. Knowing God as infinite good, we can see that in this infinity of His goodness there could not possibly be any evil. We see, too, that the unloveliness we perceive in ourselves or others must essentially be a misconception, a mistaken sense of identity, which can be dispelled by acquaintance with God and His spiritual reflection.
The adage ``to know him is to love him'' couldn't be truer than in reference to our Maker. Knowing God as his Father was Christ Jesus' first priority. It enabled him to feel God's love for him in an intimate Father-Son relationship. We, too, can enjoy our relationship with our Father, when we seek to know Him better. When asked what the great commandment of God was, Jesus answered, according to Matthew's Gospel, ``Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind'' (22:37).
Then Jesus added that the second commandment ``is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself'' (verse 39). This precludes thinking of anyone as better or worse than oneself in his true being as the likeness of God. We can enjoy feeling special and knowing others as special without participating in either condemnation or adulation, which betray an affection for others that either exceeds or falls short of one's love for himself.
Because God's love is infinite, one might say that He can give each of us His undivided affection. God loves all of us for our individual expression of Him. However much or little we may be demonstrating our inherent spiritual qualities at the moment, God knows we include them. And we will express them more fully as we respond to God's love and yield to His power. This reflection of spiritual qualities brings us joy, peace, and greater health and harmony.
Jesus knew that he was special to God, and he knew this of others as well. He sought to reveal to men, women, and children their permanent place and special purpose in God's plan. His own unique purpose he carried out with meekness and might. All who came to him seeking Truth felt the Christly touch of healing. Can anyone imagine feeling that touch, being healed by it, and not feeling special at that moment?
We are apt to agree that certain persons, present or past, are special in their contribution to mankind. We may think of ourselves as dim in comparison to their light, but that is because we have not yet learned of our own significant individual place and purpose. In her book Retrospection and Introspection, Mary Baker Eddy acknowledges her special mission as Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, but she adds, ``Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity'' (p. 70).
My grandmother made me feel special when I was young, and someone may make you feel special now. Still, it's important to understand the spiritual basis on which to know we are special to God and to one another. Material characteristics cannot reveal our true place and purpose. Spirit alone defines our being and enables us to see ourselves as complete and valuable, just as Spirit made us. Only on this basis can we enjoy our ``specialness'' in a lasting, meaningful way; find our ``niche in time and eternity''; and help others to do the same.