Salvador Dali was one of the best-known artists of the twentieth century. One of his paintings sold for $22.4 million. The last place you’d expect to find one of his works was in a back room of a thrift store on a table along with other donated art.
But that’s exactly where a volunteer at a thrift shop in North Carolina found a piece of art making headlines today.
She was going through donations when she spotted something that looked “special.” She asked for the opinion of an appraiser, who notified the shop that the art in question was a wood engraving from Dali’s series called “The Divine Comedy.” It was even signed by the artist.
Most of the art donated to the shop sells for about $10 to $50. The Dali woodcarving sold for $1,200. The shop will use the proceeds to help pay for their shelter for survivors of domestic violence and abuse, anti-bullying efforts, and other programs.
From this remarkable story, we learn an important fact: our value is determined by whose we are more than who we are.
Finding your true worth
While I can make no claim to expertise in art valuation, I’ve seen the piece of art online and wouldn’t consider it anything special. It’s not surprising to me that the previous owner donated the piece or that volunteers who first saw it weren’t impressed.
But when a true expert determined its origin, everything changed.
Our culture measures us by the three “P”s: popularity, possessions, and performance. None of them has anything to do with the fact that we are created by the God who created the universe.
His Son chose to die for us before he made us (Revelation 13:8). In fact, the Lord made the human race knowing that our sins would cost him the death of his Son. Jesus knows every sin we’ve forgotten we committed and every sin we don’t yet know we will commit. But he would die all over again, just for us.
The best advice I’ve ever received came from my youth minister when I was in high school: “Always remember the source of your personal worth.”
Your worth is not based on your popularity, possessions, or performance, which is good news since each of these can be gone tomorrow. None reveals your eternal significance.
Now it’s our turn to pay forward the grace we have experienced. Just as the thrift shop in North Carolina is using proceeds from a Salvador Dali work to help those in need, so we can use our resources and influence to help others learn their true worth in Christ.
The only thing better than finding a work of great value is discovering such value in ourselves.