You Are Special by Max Lucado

I met Punchinello when I was a lost twenty three year old girl searching for myself. Punchinello’s story is written by Max Lucado in his book, “You are Special.” I am so excited to share this story because it has touched me deeply. It may be a familiar one to you because some have blogged about it or circulated this piece in the email. But you may have missed it too. So if you were drawn to this today, this one is for you.

I have written the publisher of the book, "You are Special by Max Lucado" and have been granted permission to share this beautiful, uplifting, wonderful story here.If you have already read the story, I invite you to forward this to those whom you think might need it. If you haven’t encountered this story yet, please continue reading as Max Lucado take you to Wemmicksville where it all began and how he reminds each one of us how special we truly are.

And oh, one more thing.  If you decide to read the story below, please read it slowly.  Don't rush it.  Just take your time to savor the words.  Blessings...

You Are Special by Max Lucado

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 village. 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, every day, 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 another star. 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 him 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 Lucia. It wasn't that people didn't try to give her stickers; it's just that the stickers didn't stick. Some admired Lucia 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 either. '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," Lucia replied. "every day I go see Eli."

"Yes, Eli. The woodcarver. I sit in the workshop with him."
"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 away. "But he won't want to see me!" Punchinello cried out. Lucia 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 and dots.

"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 stopped. "Punchinello! How good to see you. Come and let me have a look at you." Punchinello turned slowly and looked at the large bearded craftsman.
"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."
"You don't?"
"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 pretty special."
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 explained.
"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 I care." Eli lifted Punchinello off the bench and set him on the ground. "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.

[You Are Special] Max Lucado
Copyright [Crossway Books, 1997]
Used by permission

About the Author

MAX LUCADO is an accomplished storyteller, a master of poetic prose, a thoughtful observer..and the author of best selling classics that include:  Just Like Jesus, In the Grip of Grace, The Great House of God, and a Gentle Thunder.
His two books "When God Whispers Your Name" and "In the Grip of Grace" were named Gold Medallion Book of the Year.
Max Lucado lives in San Antonio Texas, where he is a minister of the Oak Hills Church.  He and his wife, Denalyn, are parents of three children. He also speaks daily on his national radio program "UpWords."

Michelle Simtoco
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  1. Hi Michelle, I've heard you tell this story and I've witnessed how deeply you have been touched by it. Reading it on print is a different experience. I understand better now why such a story became significant in your life. Be blessed child.:)

  2. Omg I can so put myself into the characters shoes and that was one hell of a hub. Yet again the little Michelle lives up to her name and sends many ripples with her words, BadCo collects everyone of them and stores them away, enjoy the rest of your weekend Michelle !

  3. A wonderful read! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Hi Michelle, what a wonderful story that Max Lucado has written. Thanks for sharing it with all us very special people. I have not read any of his books but looking at some of the titles, I really don't know why not. I am definitely going to share this story with a couple of young girls I think would benefit. Take care, Sis!

  5. People love the books by Max Lucado, so that is good you have shared his story here.

  6. I think I may be a Wemmick, Teacher Michelle. I tend to seek "stars" (aka approval) and avoid "gray dots" (aka disapproval) from other people. Hehe. :P I'll keep Eli's words in mind: "Who are they to give you stars or dots? They're [people] just like you. What they think doesn't matter..." :)

  7. It's has been a long road for me too Michelle in finding and knowing my own specialness. Thanks to all the writers who come before us in sharing their own special stories for it was through books that I learned my specialness. Sad to say it was not through my association with most of the people in my life. So it is real special to find an acquaintance with you, Sis. I'm so happy for that! And no I don't mind if you cry a bit if you don't mind me crying too! You are special!

  8. Hi Ripplemaker,

    I think you are very special to write this tribute hub and to remind all us hubbers of our good qualities :). I love reading your hubs and comments.

  9. This is a wonderful story. Max Lucado is so talented. In fact, I needed this story today. Thank you.

  10. It never fails, every time you mention an author, it is one of my favorites. Lucado and Jung have nothing in common buy I love them both.


  11. I never heard this story made me teary eyed. I always feel special in God's eyes; although sometimes I confessed I questioned him with some things like a child to his father. =)

  12. I knew Max Lucado but it's the first time I have heard this story. I liked it a lot that I have to watch it in youtube. Thanks for sharing it, Michelle. I like the message and I want to listen to it over and over again until I have engraved it in my heart. Beautiful!

  13. 'Because you're mine'. Wonderful! That IS what counts for us all! I really enjoy Max Lucado's beautiful words. Thanks for sharing!

  14. god really has put this book out for me. it really touched my soul and speaks to me in ways not imaginable.

  15. i know that i am special coz i have the divine potential to be like mi\y Heavenlly Father..

  16. A wonderful story and a wonderful message, I have read a lot of Max Lucado but haven't read this. I am blessed because I believe in what He has to say about me and nothing else matters!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Great story! It's true that if we feel secure in God's love for us, what difference does it make what anybody else thinks of us. How liberating to not be captive to the opinions of others or to get overly happy or distressed at what they say or think.

  18. I believe each one of you is special and no matter what God loves you for who you are. I love this story very much and will continue to share this to anyone who needs it. Love and blessings.

  19. Wow Michelle! I love how you link to all of our comments on Hubpages. So thoughtful of you.

  20. Sweetbearies, I had to transfer this story from Hubpages to this blog since the new ruling about no duplicate content on the site. :) The comments were all so sweet so I copied them all too with all your links... :) Thanks for visiting this page.

  21. I was compiling a list of the Top 5 books that have impacted my life and came across your post for this book.

    I was 26 when I first met Punchinello. I cried the first time I read it.

    Can I link to this post in my book post?

  22. I am following your blog regularly and got great information. I really like the tips you have given. Thanks a lot for sharing. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging
    max attraction gold


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