I always considered myself to be pretty athletic, and still I was never chosen first, nor probably in the top three, for any team when I was growing up. Of course, I was a girl, and I had glasses and I wasn’t the cutest thing around, so that was three strikes against me. I think that no matter how young or how old you are, it can sting a bit when you aren’t chosen.
Adding to last week’s conversation about being the Beloved of God, it is important to our spiritual journeys that we not only see that we are Beloved, but we are Chosen as well. I realize when we think of chosen, almost the first thing to come to mind is that someone is not chosen. However, as Henri Nouwen, in Life of the Beloved, says, “To be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice.”
One Christmas I got each of my kids an ornament of a little boy or girl elf and each one said “Mom’s Favorite”. God works the same way, everyone is Chosen, everyone is God’s favorite! I think to our poor human minds this seems a little unfair. What if I behave better, and give more, and volunteer more and love better than someone else, shouldn’t I be loved more and wanted more by God? No. The God I know is not a biased, prejudiced, judgmental God whose favor and love we earn or lose by what we do. Otherwise the Divine would be no better than us!
Believing that we’re chosen and that we are special to God is just about as hard as believing we are the Beloved. Why? Perhaps because we don’t feel like we have anything special to offer, or we don’t feel worthy, or we’ve experienced rejection over and over again. Or maybe we don’t want to believe we are chosen because then we will be afraid we’ll have to do something. But there was never anything we had to do to earn our place as the Beloved and Chosen of God. They only thing for us to do is to BE ourselves.
It is important for our souls to claim our Belovedness and Chosenness in the face of a world that doesn’t believe it. Deep within ourselves, at our core, it is infinitely important to claim this.
In Arthur Miller’s play After the Fall (considered by some to be his most autobiographical work, he writes: I had the same dream each night – that I had a child, and even in the dream I saw that the child was my life; and it was an idiot, and I ran away. Until I thought, if I could kiss it… perhaps I could rest. And I bent to its broken face, and it was horrible… but I kissed it. I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms.
We are all created in the Divine image.
We are all precious in God’s sight.
We are all God’s Beloved.
We are all Chosen.