Last night, I attended church with Kaeden. I am not a church-going woman, but a strong believer in faith. I attended church last night as a member of my choir, where we sing the mass once per month. I try to bring my kids with me when other activities don't create schedule conflicts. I believe that going to church can bring a sense of community, a sense of belonging to something greater, a sense of peace. But I don't feel that we must attend church to feel the faith of our higher power. However, last night, though I resisted going, I still went. I am glad I did. Only 4 choir members showed up to sing, and my voice was needed to help the music carry to the fellow patrons attending the mass. But above my voice, was the presence of the sermon, a wonderful message to us all. The sermon last night was about worth. How each of us in this world serves a purpose, and the relationships we engage in throughout our life on earth. It spoke of the varying people with whom we have contact, and how each person serves a purpose and fulfills a need during our engagement with them. It spoke of power, and the power we have to make our lives complete in how we deal with the other party in the relationship. The relationship can be that shared between a man and wife, between a child and parent, between friends, or even between two strangers coming together for some undefined purpose on the street. Each of these relationships gives us power and serves a purpose, not only in our life, but in that of the other party. How we treat these relationships varies depending upon our need and our involvement with the other party. But whatever it's purpose, and though we may not always know the reason, how we engage in these relationships makes us the people that we are, the person that others see. Each person put on this earth serves a purpose and has worth. It is up to us to understand what their purpose and worth are, and how to make it fit into our own life. If we smile, oftentimes a smile is returned. If we growl, our worth in another's eyes is diminished. Do we have a right to judge that growl? Each person has a story, and we don't always know what the story is. We must try to create harmony in that relationship, whatever feelings it brings with it. I sincerely needed to remind myself that each of us has worth, that each of us has a purpose. As my son fidgeted beside me, his voice not the quiet voice we *should* use in church, his hands tapping his flyer with the words of the sermon rather than quietly reading along or listening, I looked at my fellow village patrons, the people whom create my community, and I saw many different faces and expressions staring back at me. Each of these people has meaning in my life. I may not know them, I may not know their story, but there is a reason they are there and in the same space with me, a purpose worthy of my attention. What I bring to this is my own doing. But I can accept them, give them the value they deserve, and move forth with that information in hand. My son, also a fellow patron, may be autisitc, may judge the world differently, but he has a purpose, he has worth. As his voice carried above the words of the priest and I began to feel uneasy with his behavior in church, this message came back to give me peace. My son has worth. He has a purpose. Each of those faces listening in the church have the opportunity to learn from my child, to value him, understand his worth. As i sat in the pew, those words gave me peace, hope, and understanding. I am learning to be accepting, to share my story, to find peace with who I am, the power I have been given, and what I choose to do with it. I am learning to find worth in others, to value them no matter how different the paths our lives lead. Here are the opening words from the sermon I heard last night: "It isn't good that we as people stay alone. God called us to life to share in a relationship, with Him and with each other. We were given ears for listening, a mouth in which to speak, and a heart that has the power to give and receive love. The harmony from the creation is disturbed. Peace is something we must go out and find...." A good basis to remember. A good basis to find worth and value in every person with whom we share a relationship, no matter how big or how small. No matter the differences between us.