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Raoul’s Two Cents: September 17, 2021

Self Worth

In the heat of an argument I was called names and I was deemed worthless. When insults are hurled at you it can hurt especially when it comes from people whose opinion you respect. I didn’t even think of returning the insult because it was clearly uttered in a moment of anger. As I calmed down, I remembered my Mom who had the super human ability to absorb insults and pain in order to preserve a relationship. So instead of being defensive, I used that incident to reflect on the merits of the insult.

Am I really that bad? Have I been in denial all these years? True or not, it still hurt. And then I remembered “Imago Dei” (the image of God). I am (all of us humans) created in the image of God. Even if the whole world believes we are the dumbest, most incompetent, ugliest, worthless creatures in the entire universe, God always sees our true worth. I believe I’ve shared this before. No, it isn’t a silly mantra that you utter multiple times to brainwash yourself. This is the honest truth — see how God provides for the birds in the air, the beautifully decorated butterflies, etc. yet we are worth more to Him than any of the other creatures.

I was still feeling down when I went to do caricatures for a Grandparent’s Day in a retirement community. There were about 20 seniors sitting in a room waiting patiently. I thought it was going to be a big affair with festive decorations and music but I was the main event … the ONLY event. I was flattered. One by one, the residents took turns at the “hot seat” in front of me and they described how they wanted to be depicted in their caricature. They opened their lives to me and that helped me draw their pictures. I drew Chuck as a fireman driving a submarine. Ina was a trouble-maker with a set of gambling dice. Sharon was a champion bowler with a score of 126. Dorothy knitted her own name. A centenarian named Tony was married to Virginia the socialite — each was on their second marriage so in their cartoon they were complaining: “Of all the single people in the world, you gave me this?” Laughter and applause followed every finished work as the “victims” took their bow. It’s true. You are only as old as you think you are. These people were very young. Even a woman with scabs on her face and partially senile beamed with pride when she saw her portrait. (It hit me that the sketch would probably be the last she will ever have. What an honor to bestow on a life fully lived.)

I remember, when the pandemic hit, I thought I would never do this again but here I was bringing joy to all these people. I got a thank you note from my friend who contracted me: “It’s always super fun to work with you! All residents were very satisfied with their caricatures. Your work is amazing … even the way you always engage with them. Anyhow, I appreciate you were able to do it.”

Do you have a self-worth problem? Take it from me, the joy you bring to someone else will reflect back to you.

Do I have a self worth problem? Not anymore.

TGIF people!


Joke of the Week

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA  for this joke.

Artwork by Raoul Pascual

Parting Shots

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA for this joke.

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

Thanks to Mel of Washington, D.C.

Thanks to Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA

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  1. Jacqueline

    September 18, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    What a great message. I needed to read this since I too sometimes feel, “How can you not able to see what is going on in the world?” Only blood of Jesus can be antidote to all the mess we are going through. Keep showing his love through the gifts that you have.




  2. Heather

    September 18, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    You are a fabulous artist and I cant believe that your art is not being shown ALL OVER THE PLANET!


  3. Hannah

    September 18, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    The ugly words from another are a reflection of the ugliness that the person feels about himself. I’m glad that you didn’t receive the curse. I’m glad that your self talk reflected your identity in Jesus Christ.

    “You are a beloved son of God, and He is well pleased with you!”
    What Papa God said about Yeshua as Yeshua went to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, applies to all of us.


  4. Karl

    September 18, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Very inspiring story. The only small comment I would make is that I believe all of God’s creatures have the same worth, and that we are not “worth more to Him than any of the other creatures”. In fact, if you look at a tiny ant, you will see that God put an amazing amount of what we would call “work” into such a perfect tiny creature. Imagine carving a human from the tip of a toothpick, but not only that, carving every detail of the inside of them so that everything would function. Some might say it takes more to create a tiny ant than a relatively “giant” person. Also, I think it is really important to have the understanding of equal worth amongst all of God’s creatures because it helps us to not extrapolate any form of superiority amongst each other.

    To your health and wealth,



    • Raoul

      September 18, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Karl,

      Interesting perspective. Indeed all of creation is amazing. As to the question of equal worth, I’m not so sure about that. And I’m sure we can disagree in some things and that would be okay … none of us is infallible in our understanding of how this complex universe.

      Your position is closer to the Hindus’ view of reincarnation — wouldn’t you say? But let’s assume that were true, if human life is worth as much as the ant or a cow or a bald Eagle or the elephant or the whales, then we should be strictly vegetarians out of respect. Furthermore, who are we to say that plants or trees have no feelings or intelligence either? How do you explain the Venus fly trapper or Touch-me-nuts or extending roots foraging for water? Scientists call it instinct but even that cannot be explained satisfactorily.

      I do like the importance of equality among God’s creatures but I wonder if that is reality. Even among the animals, the lion hunts the deer. Of course man is the abuser of all animals.

      Extrapolating this can go in several directions so I rely of scripture to set the record straight.

      Matthew 6:26 says:

      “26 Look at the birds in the sky:[a] They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds[b] them. Aren’t you more valuable[c] than they are?”

      Of course that’s a rhetorical question. The answer is YES we are more valuable.

      In Genesis 1:

      26 Then God said, “Let us make[au] humankind[av] in our image, after our likeness,[aw] so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth,[ay] and over all the creatures that move[az] on the earth.”

      27 God created humankind[ba] in his own image,
      in the image of God he created them,[bb]
      male and female he created them.[bc]

      28 God blessed[bd] them and said[be] to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it![bf] Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.

      I’m no expert in this subject matter but from the passages I pointed out (and there are more) it’s very clear man is supposed to be overseers of creation. There is a hierarchy that exists just like there is a hierarchy among men — kings and servants. There is no guarantee that the kings do good but their position above other men is there to preserve order.


  5. Lee

    September 18, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Raoul,

    Thanks for your personal experience with one who did not value you sufficiently. I have had that moment many times over the years and I think that is true especially for those in leadership or prominent roles. They draw both positive and negative responses. The negative comments always hurt and we reflect on them often more than the positive ones. On occasion I get something like that from family members if I do not agree with their politics or their view of what I should be doing with my life. It is always amazing to me how many others know exactly what the will of God is for me, but seem to be foggy about the will of God for themselves. Life goes on despite hurt from others and your focus on those who thought good of you are the kinds of things that help us along. Over the years I have collected nice notes from people with words of appreciation for me and that helps me through the tough times and reminds me that very few people in life are 100% wrong all the time!

    By the way, I shared with some folks one of your cartoons that I got this morning. It was the one who heard the recording about how important your call is to us and how the longer you are on hold the less important that call is for you. They all got a good laugh out of it.



    • Raoul

      September 18, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      This morning’s article hit a chord with a few other people who have been hurt as well. It’s true — others see the log in other people’s eyes and other people’s path to happiness but their own.

      One other comment I got was pretty insightful. She said what others say reflects their own shortcomings.



      • Lee

        September 18, 2021 at 1:21 pm

        I’m glad you had a good response to your comments. We’ve all been there. One of my worst responses is to use bad humor and turn the tables on the offender such as “thank you for your most imperceptive and uninformed comments.” I am human as well.


        You might be interested in a comment I made years ago after I was lied to and cheated. When I was a youth pastor the director of Youth for Christ advertised to all youth pastors that the one who brought more kids to a YFC rally would get a beautiful expensive sport coat. I worked hard and had about 80 kids there and won, but I never got the sport coat even after I mentioned it several times. Later I worked for him one year as director for 18 high schools in the San Gabriel Valley. He asked the staff one day what we could give that did not cost too much to the youth pastor who brought the most kids to the upcoming rally. I spoke up quickly and said “why don’t we give him a very nice sport coat since those don’t cost us anything!” He got the point and yet I never got the coat. I left him after a year because he was known for his lies and changing budget and attendance numbers.

        Humor has sometimes got me into trouble, so I don’t always recommend it, but sometimes it helps me get through challenges.


        • Raoul

          September 18, 2021 at 1:23 pm

          Sigh. Unfortunately, we have so many so-called Christians leading the flock. It’s bad enough to have a bad boss but a bad boss who’s supposed to be a Christian, that’s even more terrible. Sorry for them that they will get their just reward.

          BTW, that was a clever response. Touche! Checkmate! He must have hated you being his conscience.


  6. Tom

    September 18, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    What is important is how God rates our worth … not how others think of us.
    You especially are meritorious in your activity every week.
    You are an exquisite Man of Great Thinking and Proud Loving.
    I am proud to be your friend. Tom


  7. Anne

    September 18, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Raoul.
    Thanks for TGIF. I love your story about doing caricatures for the Seniors. It encourages me to continue to make FIdget quilt s for people with dementia. I have lots of donated materials but each one takes about 2 1/2 hours.

    Someone told me years ago that there is usually a grain of truth in an insult. The insult stings so we don’t want to consider it, but we may be able to glean new insight if we can take time to mull it over. But oh, how it hurts! Yes , Imago Dei is the answer.
    Fall has arrived in Salem Oregon. We are in severe drought and received the first rain last night. Yea!



    • Raoul

      September 18, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Glad you liked my anecdote. You have a kind heart to make quilts for people who will never repay you or even appreciate the love you give them. You are a blessing.

      Interesting comment about the “grain of truth” in an insult. You may be right. Another reader said people who insult you are reflecting the hurt that they have in their own lives.


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