My friend, Jim, and I have a long running greeting . . . You’re God’s favorite, and so am I

When reading Elias Amidon’s book Free Medicine, I was reminded of this as he describes the experience of a dying friend who was reflecting on the things he’d like to do beforehand, one of which was:   “Before I die, I’d like to visit everyone’s most intimate space and tell everyone, every man, woman, child I have ever known—that they are the favorite, the special one, the best beloved.” 

This belovedness is currently reflected for me in the tiniest gestures of my grandchildren. 

Arms wide open, gliding across the ground, beaming smile, an enthusiastic “Nana” shouted at the top of her lungs as she, my oldest grandchild, gets off the school bus.  Blissful spontaneity, unconditional love, ignorant of self-consciousness . . . You’re God’s favorite, Nana, and so are you, Taylor. 

Because he wants to jump down the steps, he reaches for my hand, suspended between his mother and me, he jumps—not as easily rendered had he not reached for my hand; a hand that is not physically there often, being 3000 miles away—which only adds to the preciousness of the gesture.  A reach, a grasp, a jump—my youngest grandson saying . . . You’re God’s favorite, Nana, and so are you, Brooks

“I won’t scream, Nana,” he quietly promises as I agree to chase him around the townhouse into which we just moved—my fear of disturbing the neighbors—followed by a gurgling gaggle of giggles, capture anticipation, and tickle monster with prey tumbling, tickling, kissing, and hugging to do it all over again.  A heartfelt promise made and kept . . . You’re God’s favorite, Nana, and so are you, Ryder. 

Searching, blinking, blurry infant eyes—holding a living miracle, her rhythmic breathing, grunting noises, swaddled stretching, contented sleep . . . You’re God’s favorite, Nana, and so are you, Hazel. 

One of the many reasons, I’m sure, Jesus said “let the children come unto me, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”  Seemingly so simple and natural an action for children to reflect God’s belovedness.  They don’t let anything get in their way. 

Can we as adults follow their example, share God’s grace, be completely in the moment, not let our stuff get in the way? 

Yes, we can! 

Don’t wait until you know you are dying, because that’s the paradox isn’t it?—we know—tomorrow isn’t promised, all we have is now.  A smile to a cashier, a donation to a homeless person, shared laughter with a new friend, accepting the generosity of a cousin—small things? 

No . . .  it is never a small thing to remind someone they are God’s favorite and allow them the blessing of returning the favor.

You’re God’s favorite, beloved . . .