What is of Value and Why?

Mark Wagner is a collage artist. He had no idea what to expect when he first cut up a dollar bill 24 years ago. But he couldn’t stop making things out of money. His collages are assembled entirely from one-dollar bills—and can fetch tens of thousands of dollars.

Above is his tribute to the Statue of Liberty. On the right you can see the piece in more detail. It is 17 feet tall, made from nearly 82,000 bill fragments. Below are details from his creations, Fit for a King, and The Money Lisa. Very clever don’t you think? Mark says, “That’s one of the ironies of the work. People are so familiar with this object. They have their hands on it on a daily basis. And no one is really aware of what it looks like.”

Wagner’s work asks us to reconsider this piece of paper we value so much, which reminds me of an illustration of our own worth using money. Imagine I am standing in front of a group of people and I pull a $20 bill out my purse and say, “I just got this $20 bill out of the ATM yesterday. If I were to offer it, who would take it?” I imagine many people would raise their hands.

I tear up the $20 bill and ask, “Who would take it now?”
I crumpled the bill and ask, “Who would take it now?”
I throw it to the ground and stomp on it and ask, “Who would take it now?”

I imagine each time I did that, many people would still raise their hands.

I then smile and say: “Too bad, I’m not giving it to you, but why do you want it this torn, crumpled, dirty piece of paper?” The answer? “Because it still is valuable.”

But why is it valuable? Is the paper worth twenty dollars? Is the ink worth that much money? No. Then why is this piece of paper worth $20? Because the government of the United States (which created it) says it’s worth $20. And that is the only reason it has value.

Being Human connection: The same goes for you. No matter how much you’ve been torn up, crumpled, or stomped on, you still have value, because the One who created you determines your value. The world is a counterfeiter who tries to tell you many other things determine your worth—or lack of worth. Don’t be fooled. Only God knows your true worth and he has gone to great lengths to show you how much you’re valued. Ephesians 2 says we are God’s masterpieces. A masterpiece is very valuable—and so are you. In fact, you are priceless. Your Creator says so.

Featured art: Mark Wagner. Liberty, Fit for a King, and The Money Lisa. See more of his work at http://markwagnerinc.com/

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10