The prompt for today is: Beloved.
My parents named me Amy, which means beloved, so that’s nice.
And they did a good job making me feel loved. They have both always been free with the words that some people just can’t say, “I love you.”
It was just the three of us for years, and our dog, Pookie, and I was happy.
Then the memories go a bit darker and I am spending lots of time alone in my room and then, when I was six and still hammering down the foundations of self that every child is assembling at that age, things kind of blew up.
My Mom and I were living in a tiny little apartment near the junior college and my Dad was in the house I knew and loved and of course, you know where this is going: they got a divorce.
They named me Beloved, and they did, and I was, but the tearing apart of my family felt completely wrong; it left me feeling uncertain, with my foundation all shot to bits, scared and alone.
The summer between sixth and seventh grades I attended a Christian summer camp. We lived in cabins and swam in the lake. We sang loud, raucous camp songs and lilting, heart-jerker choruses. In the morning and evening we gathered on the green shag carpet in the little chapel and listened to a sermon.
It was there, with the carpet scratching my mosquito-bitten legs that I first heard about Jesus, what He did on the cross and why that mattered to me, a heart-broken almost seventh grader.
I learned that it wasn’t just my parents who named me Beloved, but God. And this was really, really good to know.
I scrambled onto the lifeboat of that loving as fast as I could, and I have been saved by it every day of my life since.
We sang this chorus that summer...do you remember it?
Beloved, let us love one another, (let us love one another)
For love is of God,
And everyone who loveth is born of God,
And knoweth God.
He that loveth God (clap, clap, clap)
Knoweth not God,
For God is Love (God is love).
Beloved, let us love one another.
I JOHN 4: 7 AND 8 (that’s great!)