You’re More Than Just a Number

large crowd, too big too number
It’s difficult to imagine being intimately involved in billions of people’s lives. But somehow, in a way that surpasses my human understanding, God does just that.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around His love, though. And I wonder, why would He care about my little problems? Why would He care about me when He’s got so many other people to think about? I am just a tiny speck in His universe, after all — one among many. Do I really matter to Him?

Even Clones Matter

I’ve been re-watching “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” one of my favorite TV shows, and it brings up questions of individuality. This is an issue, as you might guess, that clones face. However, most of the Jedi treat them as individual people, not just expendable soldiers. Each clone we meet has a unique personality, and they call one another by nicknames instead of using the ID numbers they were given by their creators. Rex, Cody, Fives, Hevy, Echo — they all have their own stories. In a series of episodes in Season 4, the clones under Anakin’s command fight for their identities because a Jedi named Krell treats them as expendable and worthless. Some of them die because Krell sends them on a suicide mission.

And I wonder why God doesn’t think of me like that. Why am I so valuable that He died for me instead of sending me to my doom? Why didn’t he just let me struggle on my own and never bother with me at all?

I wrestle with feelings of worthlessness because of my humanity. I constantly make mistakes. I hurt people I care about, usually unintentionally, but it happens often. There are other people more worthy of God’s time — they are smarter, kinder, richer, poorer, wiser, humbler than me. I am the smallest glob of paint on God’s master canvas, so tiny that I doubt my contribution to the picture. And I wonder why God wants me to contribute at all, when He can make a beautiful image without my help.

But in “The Clone Wars,” every clone’s life is significant. Rex stands up to Krell in the end, defending the value of his own life and the lives of his brothers: “I followed your orders; orders that I didn’t necessarily agree with. Orders that cost us men, not clones, men!” In the show, every death is felt. They are mourned. They are missed. Their identical genetic makeup makes no difference. They matter. And ultimately, they are loved — by Anakin, Obi-Wan, other Jedi and also by me, the viewer. Unlike God, the Jedi do need their help, but like God, the Jedi see value in the seemingly insignificant.

I Don’t Need to Understand

God values me — pouring out love and acceptance even though there are billions of other humans around me. It’s mind-blowing that He thinks I’m significant: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).

The fact of the matter is I can never comprehend how God does this — how He has the capacity to care about and intimately know and love every life. Even David doesn’t get it: “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:4-6).

And I don’t need to understand. I just need to accept God’s love, that He created me and has endless devotion to His creation. David simply stops trying to figure out God and praises Him instead: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

It can be so easy to for us each to think we’re nothing more than a number, that we’re a dime a dozen, expendable and replaceable. How often I feel that way in giant crowds! But that’s not how God sees me and you. We’re more than a number. I matter. You matter. Even if you’re a clone.

About the Author

Allison Barron

Hailing from the cold reaches of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Allison is the general manager of Geekdom House, executive editor of Area of Effect magazine, co-host of the Infinity +1 podcast, and staff writer for Christ and Pop Culture. When she’s not writing, designing, or editing, she is usually preoccupied in Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away.