I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
When our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, visits us for the day, she always brings at least one stuffed animal, if not more, along with her. I'm usually the one who picks Virginia up and takes her home, and I always remind her, if she doesn't have one at the ready, to fetch one of her beloved animals to bring with us. Recently, however, my husband, Danny, has a work-related errand he needs to run in the neck of the woods where she lives with her parents and sister, so he volunteers to pick her up that morning. In her excitement at seeing Papa, Virginia completely forgets to bring a stuffed toy along.
(Virginia, age three, with her favorite kitty)
"You didn't bring Tattie (Kitty) with you?" I ask, surprised when Virginia comes flying over to hug me with no companion under her arm.
"I forgot, Gammie," she says despondently. Although Grey is right in view, Virginia doesn't go for him as a substitute pal. Maybe it's because he's been a constant fixture on our printer as my inspiration to keep working diligently on Adventures in The Glade that she overlooks him as a potential playmate. To Virginia, poor Grey is just part of the furniture. I can hear his protests right about now!
Suddenly, Virginia's face brightens. "Horsey!" she exclaims. "Horsey in Papa's closet! Can you get it for me, Papa? I need a friend!"
"Yes, I'll get it," Papa says, "but remember, Virginia, it's very old and you must be extremely careful with it. My great-grandfather made it, so it is special to me."
"Me be careful, Papa, I promise." (Yes, we are struggling with teaching Virginia the difference between "I" and "me" when she's speaking. And her Gammie, being a proud member of the grammar police, won't give up that fight!)
Virginia accepts Horsey gratefully, giving it a gentle hug, and wanting me to place it on the table so her new friend can watch as she plays with her Crazy Sand. As I sit with them, I'm amazed at the conversation, albeit one-sided, that Virginia carries on with Horsey. Patiently, she explains everything she is doing and why, asks Horsey some questions, and gives the answers, too, as she imagines the inanimate toy speaking for itself.
Then a thought strikes me. "Virginia," I say, "have you decided on a name for your new friend? Horsey is okay, but it's not a real name, one that a friend deserves. Can you think about a name for Papa's horse?"
Virginia is immediately deep in thought in response to my question, half-heartedly diddling with her Crazy Sand as the wheels in her head are whirling round. I'm thinking this process could take a while, but am pleasantly surprised when she quickly emerges from her reverie and announces, "She's Lucy."
"Lucy? That's a marvelous name, Virginia," I say, fondly reminded of the beloved character in C. S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles, stories so dear to my heart. "So Horsey is a girl, right?"
I'm curious. "How did you know that 'Lucy' is a girl's name?"
"Me meet a little girl named Lucy the other day," Virginia informs me. "Me like that name."
"I like it, too," I tell her. "I'm sure Lucy is happy to have a child name her after all these years."
Virginia reaches for Lucy and gathers her close. "I love Lucy, Gammie," she says. "We'll be best friends."
"No doubt about that, sweetie. You'll be the best of friends.
Isn't it awesome that Christ Jesus knows us by name and has called us not as servants, but as friends who grow closer to Him each and every day? How has He, as your friend, made the Father's will known to you?
Prayer: Father, we are infinitely blessed to have You, through Christ Jesus, as our friend. Because of Your Son, we are not servants, but beloved sons and daughters, the children of Your light. Through Your Word, we know Your business and Your promise, Your grace and Your love. We thank You for calling each of us by name. It is in Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Looks like Lucy has made another friend!