The Favorite Child

I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. (Isaiah 55:3b, NRSV)

In William P. Young’s The Shack, whenever God mentions someone, she says she is especially fond of him or her. Every single person, every child, is a favorite. No one is half-loved or a quarter-appreciated in comparison to someone else. Every single person resides in the heart of God, a beloved child.

In a world where competition and favoritism exclude the majority to the dubious advantage of the few, this makes no sense. How can there not be the favorite? But God doesn’t choose favorites: everyone is a favorite, beloved for whom he or she is.

The shepherd-musician-king, David, is God’s beloved; God surrounded David with love and chose him for a holy life. The very same is true of you and me – and everyone else in this world. God is especially fond of you. You are a delight in the eyes of the Lord:don’t let anyone or anything convince you otherwise.

[Young, William P., The Shack, USA: Windblown Media, 2007]

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “The Favorite Child”

  1. As I read by candlelight while the power is out around here, I can reflect on your writing now. My mother had 3 daughters, her “three girls” as she called us. She never showed that one of us was her favorite but that each one of us was “ a favorite”, each in a different way. Even on the other hand she might say to me “oh, that JoAnn she always leaves a mess in her room!” or another time say something to me about my other sister Ursula, just to share her feelings with me if they were bothering her. I have a feeling she probably shared a concern about me about something with one of my 2 sisters (in confidence though). But I know we 3 were her favorites and she loved us the same. Peace, Robin

    1. Thanks for sharing this memory, Robin. Any time a parent loves a child for her own unique soul – and loves each sibling the same – it’s a blessing. Peace, Johnna

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