We are all the same in that we are all unique.
When I met my wife’s family for the first time, there were so many new people around that Thanksgiving table that year (64 people total) that my future mother in law had us all introduce ourselves. Around the table we went. Nearly every name was an Irish name, which was no surprise since my wife’s family is Irish. When the time came for me to say my name, I said, “I’m Ian. And I’m Scottish.”
Yes, I will say it was pretty ballsy of me, not knowing the crowd that well. But at least my wife knew who she was getting in bed with so to speak, and I was able to set myself apart as an individual, and not merely someone’s date.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 JOHN 4:4 (NIV)
We are all the same in that we are all unique. And yet, we are the same.
We have different first names and last names. Our middle names (if you have one) often come with a story of some kind.
We all have ways we introduce ourselves to one another, and how we like to be remembered. But we are all the same, despite our uniqueness. For we are all children of God. Beloved, at that.
Perhaps you have no idea who you are, or what your story is, or how you voice yourself into the world.
Maybe you have no idea because society has named you something other than you wish to be called. But just as much as I am Ian. I am a punk, a preacher, and a peacemaker. That may change. I’m flexible and always open to change.
A man who people called Henri calls us to accept our identity as a child of God. And for good reason.
He wrote, “Your true identity is as a child of God. This is the identity you have to accept. Once you have claimed it and settled in it, you can live in a world that gives you much joy as well as pain. You can receive the praise as well as the blame that comes to you as an opportunity for strengthening your basic identity, because the identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world.”
I know my name. I know who I am. And God knows this to. Formed out of a deep desire, we become a family fashioned out of love. Many of us don’t get to experience real love in our earthly families. But when we accept our place in God’s family, we begin to see love, and all the joys and pains that go with it, in a whole new way. A way that names us, claims us, and makes us fully alive, fully present, and completely free to be who God made us to be - The Beloved.