We are all God’s children, and that is one of the most important names we could ever have.
What’s in a name? “Call me Ishmael.” “They call me Mr. Tibbs.” “What’s your name, is it Mary or Sue?” “A rose by any other name…” “His name will be John.” “My name is not easy.” Getting someone’s name right matters a great deal.
You can probably remember other quotes where a person’s name becomes their identity, who they are, why they behave the way they do, or how they can be known by someone else. The word name is a noun. A pronoun can take the place of a noun and, these days, pronouns are hotly contested items.
Someone’s face will appear on a Facebook profile, or on a ZOOM screen, or at the end of an article, and the name might be followed by pronouns like she/her, they/them. What? Are they confused? Is there something wrong with their name? Why the extra modifiers?
Every unborn child is a child of God, and when the baby leaves the womb, we all know we now have a girl or a boy. That is how God made us, male and female. It’s in the Bible! End of discussion!
But after some time, it is discovered that the boy likes other boys better than girls, and the girl likes other girls better than boys. The debate over whether it is a choice or just an acceptance of who she or he is continues but is quieter, and science and psychology have shed light on the topic. So we still have to talk about it and affirm we are all children of God. That’s just the way it is.
Until it isn’t! The girl now has a different perception of herself. The boy feels less like himself. There is a nagging, uncomfortable disturbance within and no one knows what to do about it, least of all the boy or girl. It’s not that he wants to be a girl; in his mind and heart, he is a girl. It’s not that she wants to be a boy; in her mind and heart, she is a boy. The human person is more complex than we can ever imagine or understand. That is why we feel free to ask, how can this be, it’s just not right. And we just don’t get it.
Has anything really changed? Are they no longer children of God? When did they become demons or the spawn of the devil or possessed by evil? Those are the descriptive words a lot of people use when talking about people now referred to as members of the Transgender community. They are children of God but, admit it, those people make us uncomfortable so calling them names is perfectly understandable. Right? We can’t define them; they don’t fit, so we make up our own names for them. Yet they are all God’s children.
I am cisgender, and it is who I am and how I behave; but what if I were transgender? Supposedly, I am normal, but as a transgender person, I would not be. How can that be? It can be because the “normal” folks say so.
I look to my Church—–sorry that door is locked; where is the key?
I look to my politicians—sorry that door is stuck somewhere in between.
I look to my schools—–sorry that door is blocked by the parents of the “normal” kids.
I can only look to the Risen Christ who declares us all Brothers and Sisters, those whom God loves and lavishes with mercy and compassion, not pity.
The blood of Christ sets us ALL free to be people of God. Why do some of us get to decide who “deserves” that name?
8 responses to “The Children of God”
Good Pat — the word “worthy” has taken such DEEP roots in our history — I think in great part because we say “O Lord I am not worthy” = I think we should be saying something like “O Lord I am so NEEDY” — please come under my roof. At the Last Supper were any worthy — soon all would leave Him as He face a terrible ordeal.
This child of God, thanks you for this thoughtful and challenging blog.
As Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16)
Well stated, Pat! Thanks!
Thank you, Pat, for sharing your reflection with us. We continue to pray for and respect ALL God’s children!
Amen….all created and named by God. Personally I don’t think those names were based on DNA or anatomy.
Thanks, Pat, for this reflection. Unfortunately, we do need to be reminded that all human beings are precious, and that being human is more complex and mysterious than we thought. The posture we should take is humility and awe.