A bit later in the service we sang a lovely hymn called “Child of Blessing, Child of Promise” – a fitting song for a baptism day. The first and last stanzas read like this:
Child of blessing, child of promise,
Baptized with the Spirit's sign,
With this water God has sealed you
Unto love and grace divine.
Child of God, your loving Parent,
Learn to listen for God's call.
Grow to laugh and sing and worship,
Trust and love God more than all.
For reasons I cannot name, my eyes filled with tears in the singing of this hymn. Only days earlier, a dear friend had been helping me with readying the house for sale and she asked me a question about my mom. My mother, back in 1946 became an unwed mother – and she worked hard and had some very good advice in navigating these rough waters. The words to the hymn got me thinking about my mother, and how very special she was in the eyes of God (even if not in the eyes of some of her family). She was a precious child of this God who pursues us relentlessly and loves us without limit.
It was only several days later that I came across this in a subscription email:
Love always plays favorites in the sense that the beloved is loved as someone special. God does not love you or me as a specimen of the human race but with the ravishingly personal attention and affection of a lover… To God each one of us is the favorite. God’s love comes to all, but it comes as all to each, not to all as some anonymous aggregate.
~ Peter Kreeft
This was – is – such a good thing to hear. It is good news for those of us – er, correction, for those like me – who will, it seems, struggle all the way to the grave around the issue of different gifts, and how I seem to want what others have. I am attentive to detail. My realtor for instance, is sufficiently attentive to detail but really focused on the big picture. I seem (not so curiously I guess) drawn to big picture people because that is not who I am… Another way of articulating Kreeft’s statement that each and every one of us is loved individually for who we are, is in picture form – this a recent find via Face Book:
You are awesome! We all are! We are God’s very own.