You (Already) Matter

I’m almost done with Max Lucado’s Fearless book. I was co-reading it with Big Magic which I’m re-reading with greater clarity too. Anyway, Max shared this poem that’s a metaphor of our trudging pursuit of success so as to feel like we matter and I had to share it.

Perhaps you don’t know,
then, maybe you do,
about Stiltsville, the village,
(so strange but so true)

where people like we,
some tiny, some tall,
with jobs and kids
and clocks on the wall

keep an eye on the time.
For each evening at six,
they meet in the square
for the purpose of sticks,
tall stilts upon which

Stiltsvillians can strut
and be lifted above
those down in the rut:

the less and the least,
the Tribe of Too Smalls,
the not cools and have-nots
who want to be tall

but can’t, because
in the giving of sticks,
their name was not called.
They didn’t get picked.

Yet still they come
when villagers gather;
they press to the front
to see if they matter

to the clique of the cool,
the court of high clout,
that decides who is special
and declares with a shout,

“You’re classy!” “You’re pretty!”
“You’re clever” or “Funny!”
And bequeath a prize,
not of medals or money,

not a freshly baked pie
or a house someone built,
but the oddest of gifts—
a gift of some stilts.

Moving up is their mission,
going higher their aim.
“Elevate your position”
is the name of their game.

The higher-ups of Stiltsville
(you know if you’ve been there)
make the biggest to-do
of the sweetness of thin air.

They relish the chance
on their high apparatus
to strut on their stilts,
the ultimate status.

For isn’t life best
when viewed from the top?
Unless you stumble
and suddenly are not

so sure of your footing.
You tilt and then sway.
“Look out bel-o-o-o-w!”
and you fall straightaway

into the Too Smalls,
hoi polloi of the earth.
You land on your pride—
oh boy, how it hurts

when the chic police,
in the jilt of all jilts,
don’t offer to help
but instead take your stilts.

“Who made you king?”
you start to complain
but then notice the hour
and forget your refrain.

It’s almost six!
No time for chatter.
It’s back to the crowd
to see if you matter.

Stiltsvillians still cluster,
and crowds still clamor,
but more stay away.
They seem less enamored

since the Carpenter came
and refused to be stilted.
He chose low over high,
left the system tip-tilted.

“You matter already,”
he explained to the town.
“Trust me on this one.
Keep your feet on the ground.”

Sometimes you forget to make hard stops, to push pause in life and to actually see where you are, how far you’ve come and where you’re going. You can get caught in the waves and riptides of life; in the activity and senseless locomotion of it all. The culture of busyness begs for you to drown in to do lists and need-tos so as to finding meaning in life and to feel relevant. You’re more than that. You matter. Already. Even without doing or saying a single thing, you matter. So much that the world will (even in the smallest ways) never be the same because you are here. Because of your beating heart, your inhale and exhale, you’re being here right now, you matter. And maybe it’s about time you learn just how you can best leave a mark on this world in a way that only you can.

I love how Marianne Williamson said it.

“Nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. You are a child of God. You were created in a blinding flash of creativity, a primal thought when God extended Himself in love. Everything you’ve added on since is useless.”

– Marianne Williamson

Not that we should sit and make nothing of our lives. No. We’re on assignment, for sure. The world is broken and many have forgotten whose they are (because it is a deep knowing within us that makes us come alive figuratively and spiritually). And they need to know they already belong to belong. But knowing this, letting this trickle down deep is permission to throw away the stilts and the ladders of our own efforts for benches and buses that allow others to come along for the journey.

The thing with stilts is that it’s quite hard to have more than one person on them. It’s not a shared or community event. Even Psalms 133 highlights clustered things – Aaron’s beard, his robe, to reference unity of believers. One person (their head at that) may be anointed but it affects the rest right down to the fingers (because I know there’s no way it won’t get on them even in disrobing).

My husband delivered a sermon recently about being vessels of honour in God’s house and the truth is, God’s house much like us is full of many vessels. Ours is to allow ourselves to be used by Him. No one can tell you how low or small your work is because at the very end, you were fit for God’s use and He used you.

I love that in Jesus’ earth life, He chose a humble beginning for His story. He chose a donkey when the people proclaimed Him as king and not a horse. He wore a crown of thorns when nailed to the cross and not a silver or gold one. And through it all, He mattered. Through it all, the high, the low, the haves and have nots had access to Him.

In fact, as the creator of the universe, He could have come with the full 360 of His Divinity on earth but He modelled to us that knowing who you are is how you shine. It’s not in getting but giving and sharing who you are every step of your journey whether you’re at the foot of the mountain or the peak.

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.”

― Shannon L. Alder

You matter, already. You already matter.

Enjoy the view and co-partnering with Him in every season of your life and allow Him to refashion you for His use every step of the way. He is a master Potter, after all.


  • Reply
    Linda Stoll
    July 4, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Koki, hi! I loved meeting you over at Mary’s today! Your photo at the top of this post is so gorgeous, radiant, and full of joy. You’re a magnet, for sure. And your words are laced with truth.

    Bless you …

    • Reply
      July 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you Linda <3

  • Reply
    Mary Geisen
    July 7, 2018 at 3:45 am

    I love the quotes from Shannon Adler and Marianne Williamson. I am joining you in enjoying the view and co-partnering with God in every season. Thank you for being a member of the #TellHisStory community.

    • Reply
      July 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Thank you Mary <3

  • Reply
    Debbie Kitterman
    July 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Koki – thanks for the reminder it’s ok to push pause and remember how far we’ve come. Such a great post and a much needed reminder in our busy, go do and go some more society. I appreciate having your insightful posts at #TuneInThursday see you again tomorrow 🙂

    • Reply
      July 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm


  • Reply
    Your Individual "Thisness" & Creating From This Centre - Koki Oyuke
    December 12, 2018 at 9:04 am

    […] Your mark is needed. Your unusual, individual ink is necessary to complete the story. And as you know, punctuation marks (whether present or absent) make all the difference. So this makes you needed. You already matter. […]

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