You Are Special!
The Wemmicks were small wooden people. Each of the wooden people was carved
by a woodworker named Eli. His workshop sat on a hill overlooking their
Every Wemmick was different. Some had big noses,
others had large eyes. Some were tall and others were short. Some wore hats,
others wore coats. But all were made by the same carver and all lived in the
village. And all day, everyday, the Wemmicks did the same thing: they gave
each other stickers. Each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and a
box of gray dot stickers. Up and down the streets all over the city, people
could be seen sticking stars or dots on one another.
The pretty ones, those with smooth wood and fine
paint, always got stars. But if the wood was rough or the paint chipped, the
Wemmicks gave dots. The talented ones got stars, too. Some could lift big
sticks high above their heads or jump over tall boxes.
Still others knew big words or could sing very pretty
songs. Everyone gave them stars.
Some Wemmicks had stars all over them! Every time they
got a star it made them feel so good that they did something else and got
Others, though, could do little. They got dots.
Punchinello was one of these. He tried to jump high like the others, but he
always fell. And when he fell, the others would gather around and give him
dots. Sometimes when he fell, it would scar his wood, so the people would
give him more dots. He would try to explain why he fell and say something
silly, and the Wemmicks would give more dots. After a while he had so many
dots that he didn't want to go outside. He was afraid he would do something
dumb such as forget his hat or step in the water, and then people would give
him another dot. In fact, he had so many gray dots that some people would
come up and give him one without reason.
"He deserves lots of dots," the wooden people would
agree with one another. "He's not a good wooden person."
After a while Punchinello believed them. "I'm not a
good Wemmick," he would say. The few times he went outside, he hung around
other Wemmicks who had a lot of dots. He felt better around them.
One day he met a Wemmick who was unlike any he'd ever
met. She had no dots or stars. She was just wooden. Her name was Lulia. It
wasn't that people didn't try to give her stickers; it's just that the
stickers didn't stick. Some admired Lulia for having no dots, so they would
run up and give her a star. But it would fall off. Some would look down on
her for having no stars, so they would give her a dot. But it wouldn't stay
"That's the way I want to be," thought Punchinello. "I
don't want anyone's marks."
So he asked the stickerless Wemmick how she did it.
"It's easy," Lulia replied. "Every day I go see Eli."
"Yes, Eli. The woodcarver. I sit in the workshop with
"Why don't you find out for yourself? Go up the hill.
He's there." And with that the Wemmick with no marks turned and skipped
"But he won't want to see me!" Punchinello cried out.
Lulia didn't hear.
So Punchinello went home. He sat near a window and
watched the wooden people as they scurried around giving each other stars
"It's not right," he muttered to himself. And he
resolved to go see Eli.
He walked up the narrow path to the top of the hill
and stepped into the big shop. His wooden eyes widened at the size of
everything. The stool was as tall as he was. He had to stretch on his
tiptoes to see the top of the workbench. A hammer was as long as his arm.
Punchinello swallowed hard. "I'm not staying here!"
and he turned to leave.
Then he heard his name.
"Punchinello?" The voice was deep and strong.
"Punchinello! How good to see you. Come and let me
have a look at you."
Punchinello turned slowly and looked at the large
"You know my name?" the little Wemmick asked.
"Of course I do. I made you."
Eli stooped down and picked him up and set him on the
bench. "Hmm," the maker spoke thoughtfully as he inspected the gray circles.
"Looks like you've been given some bad marks."
"I didn't mean to, Eli. I really tried hard."
"Oh, you don't have to defend yourself to me, child. I
don't care what the other Wemmicks think."
"No, and you shouldn't either. Who are they to give
stars or dots? They're Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn't
matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are
Punchinello laughed. "Me, special? Why? I can't walk
fast. I can't jump. My paint is peeling. Why do I matter to you?"
Eli looked at Punchinello, put his hands on those
small wooden shoulders, and spoke very slowly. "Because you're mine. That's
why you matter to me."
Punchinello had never had anyone look at him like this
- much less his maker. He didn't know what to say.
"Every day I've been hoping you'd come," Eli
"I came because I met someone who had no marks."
"I know. She told me about you."
"Why don't the stickers stay on her?"
"Because she has decided that what I think is more
important than what they think. The stickers only stick if you let them."
"The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The
more you trust my love, the less you care about the stickers."
"I'm not sure I understand."
"You will, but it will take time. You've got a lot of
marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much
Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on
"Remember," Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the
door. "You are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."
Punchinello didn't stop, but in his heart he thought,
"I think he really means it." And when he did, a dot fell to the ground.
--Written by Max Lucado
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his
appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for
God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the
Lord looks at the heart.'"
I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)