Good Morning, God!
I was carrying books up from our guest room into another bookcase upstairs — when my eye lit of the book by Madeleine L’Engle, Sold Into Egypt. Immediately, it hit me, God, that Joseph was able to survive and indeed flourish because he knew himself to be his father’s “favorite”.
His father had many sons — but Joseph was the first son of his beloved wife, Rachel. And in many ways his father showed his favoritism. But the straw that broke his brothers’ back was Joseph having a dream in which his brothers bowed down to him. So, his brothers intended to kill Joseph at the first opportunity. Finding him alone with them, far from home, Reuben said, let us just toss him in a pit. Then Judah — seeing traders coming — said, “Let us sell him to these traders on their way to Egypt!”
As I was climbing the stairs I pondered again how being loved as a child helped Joseph not just survive his hardships but flourish! Being loved gave him resiliency. For Joseph actually became second only to Pharaoh in Egypt and was in charge of storing grain for seven years — so Egypt could save the world (and make lots of money) during the seven years of famine that followed.
Yes, God, being a FAVORITE is hard — just ask the Jews, Your Chosen People. Not an easy gift to bear.
But at the top of the stairs I thought, what if each one of us, is Your Favorite, God? This thought felt very true! But it is a very difficult concept for us humans. For us, being a “favorite” is all about linear comparisons. The idea of being in a Sphere — in which each one is a favorite — isn’t just hard to grasp. It just cannot be true. Well, it can’t be true when we have a linear definition of favorite.
Sigh. Definitions are surely hard. My definition of love has been quite shallow for much of my life. Going through something UNBELIEVABLY HARD (Patty’s illness) and seeing You “with me” in it — that was a huge step. And, one I fall back from “feeling” even while I still grasp the “knowing”.
And that, again, is why it is so hard for us to see ourselves beloved as Joseph was. We look around us and seeing things that are hard, unfair, and meaningless, we say THIS ISN’T LOVE!!! Ah, yes. . . definitions. But, if in the HARD we could envision You WITH US . . . how amazing that would be!