Sunday, January 23, 2011

Song #3: The Gift of a New Father and a New Name

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it." Revelation 2:17

     In the last blog I wrote about the importance of having a good name (at least, in my family.) Mom's good name I mentioned was that of my step-father, Harry Harmon. He married "us" when I was only four years old, and I was so excited that I went skipping down the street where our new home was singing, "I have a new daddy! I have a new daddy!"
      When I started first grade, I tried to enroll under his name, but that disguise didn't last for long because I wasn't adopted by my step-dad and still had my biological father in my life. My dad's family raised quite a ruckus when they discovered I was enrolled in school under "Judy Harmon."
     None-the-less, I called Harry "Daddy", and he was my daddy in the best sense of the word. He loved my mother and me and was a Godly, Christian man. Having lost his own father at a young age, he felt called to be a daddy to someone who needed one. I needed one alright, but I subconsciously expected him to be the same kind of daddy I already knew--changeable, undependable, scary at times, judgmental, but still charming and lovable in good moments. Thankfully, I was wrong.
      Daddy turned out to be quite different from my expectations. He proved his nature the first time he took me out to fly a kite when I was four. I had to search out a thirty-year-old composition book to find this song I wrote about the experience:

The Lost Kite (the found child)

I remember the day when my daddy and I flew a kite.
It was a beautiful day in the park, and the sun was so bright.
And the wind was so strong;  Daddy said to hold on.
He'd be right back when he'd found a sack.
Then we would use it for a parachute.

So I held on , but the wind was so strong
That the kite blew away in the wind.
   So I ran and ran to try and get it back again,
   But it sailed away over the fence.

So I cried and I cried because I'd let the kite get away,
And I was afraid of my Daddy and what he might say.
Then Daddy came back and was holding the sack.
He looked my way and had one thing to say.
He said, "That's okay."
He said, "That's okay."

    Daddy was a representation of God's love to me at that moment--loving, forgiving, and comforting. I was more important to him than the kite! He picked me up in his arms and carried me home and dried my tears without a single word of scolding.He gave me unconditional love and continued to be a trustworthy father from that time onward. I didn't have the privilege of bearing his name, but I always carried his love.
     Aside from Daddy's name, I cannot think of a better name to have than that of Christ's--"Christian". But the word "Christian" is not what the disciples called themselves in the Bible. By others they were called "Christianos", followers of the anointed one, as in Acts11:26. "Christian" is not  even the name God gives us when we become His own. He doesn't call us "followers", but "children", and not just children but His children by adoption.

John 1:12 "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God." 

Romans 8:15-17 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father! " the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him."
   I am God's child with rights to both inheritance, like an adult son, and to intimacy, like the kind I experienced with my daddy. Calling God "Abba" is like saying "Daddy." I also have no need to fear my Abba Father; He engenders trust and confidence just as  my new daddy did after Mom married him. But that's not all I receive from my Father. At some point I will know my new name. In fact, Revelation tells us that the Spirit will give a new name to him who overcomes (prevails), that it will be given to him written on a white stone, and that the receiver is the only one who knows it.
   What might my new name be? God tells me that I am his child, adopted into His family. Perhaps that new name is my adopted name and will reveal what having Christ's name has accomplished in my life. Maybe it will signify what I have become as a result of Christ living in me and the Holy Spirit doing His work. After all, I am "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works." (Ephesians 2:10) Whatever that name is, I am sure it will be perfect and fitting because my Father is choosing it.
     I know that having Daddy Harry as a father changed me for the better. He brought stability and safety into our lives, gave us a place of security and peace, and continued to love me as his own even after Mom bore his biological child, my sister. He showed me the kind of love a father should have for his daughter, never showing partiality, and he led me to the Lord by his witness and example.
      With Jesus as my Lord, I know that I am certainly not what I was without Him , but do I really know who I am in Him? Do we even have an inkling of what He can do and wants to do through us? We probably won't know until that moment the gift of the white stone is given. Oh, how I want to walk worthy of His name.
      Thank you my Abba, Daddy.

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1 comment:

judy said...

I love "How I want to walk worthy of His name"