Friday, September 2, 2011

Beloved (Zion and Birthmother Anna)

Zion likes the word concrete. He says it often, and with gusto! Emmaus is pleased to fuel his brother's widening construction-site vocabulary. Like fresh herbs from the garden added to a simple dish, the brothers transform the most bland sentences into innovative, one-of-a-kind conversations by throwing in their favorite words. To talk of the best things imaginable is to infuse joy into the ordinary.

I also have a favorite word, which has rooted itself into the natural spaces of my thoughts. I freely ask that it influence everything in the same solid manner as concrete. The word is beloved.

I first tasted the power of this word from my girlfriend Tiffany who always refers to her husband Art as Beloved. This bold word insists that of every other characteristic Art might possess, he is first Beloved. Such unabashed, life-speaking language directed my opinion long before I knew anything about the husband Tiffany adores.

My hand reaches only as far as my walking feet can journey. The only lasting shelter and protection we can offer our children is not physical, but rather the character we build in their minds. If the first word of description they hear is Beloved, then all else is filtered by who they know they are. When I call out to them, "Beloved" I am already encouraged to treat them as such. Imagine screaming, "Beloved!" It is almost impossible. With so many highly capable little ones, whose rebellion of heart is as strong as my own, I must protect them and me from anger that produces fruit from an evil source; fear, anxiety, revenge, temper and violence. It is as if I am given a natural pause when the habit of using the word Beloved comes before thought. To conquer the initial reaction to another's sin with kindness is to redirect and infuse love as the conclusion of sin. It is the way of Jesus. I need His way. Throughout scripture we are called His Beloved, so as His Beloved, we are most assuredly Beloved to one another.

You are Beloved, know that you are and perhaps this can be your favorite word as well. Use it generously for it sticks even better than concrete, just ask Zion!