Editor’s Corner: Beloved child of God

Amy Forbus

A few weeks ago, John and I officially became godparents for the first time. At Nora’s baptism, we stood beside her parents and made some pretty big promises.

We have made big promises before to some of our friends who are parents. There are a couple of growing girls in faraway states who, should their moms and dads both meet some untimely demise, are supposed come to live with us. There’s a kid in Texas whose parents asked us to stand with the family as he was baptized. But this is the first time we’ve been asked to answer the big questions.

Big questions. That’s one of the reasons Nora’s parents asked us to take on this role in her life. “We know y’all are okay with doubt, and we figure that someday she will question her faith,” her mom told me. “We want her to have a place to talk about things that she might not want to talk about with us.”

So as little Nora, the unwilling host to a stomach bug, endured three spit-up incidents and three wardrobe changes before her baptism arrived in the order of worship that Sunday, I got used to being a godmother. I held the pacifier. I handed over the towel to wipe up the mess. I found things squirreled away in pockets of the diaper bag. I reiterated that her mom had made exactly the right call to wait until the last minute before putting her in the heirloom baptismal gown. Nora’s mom declared me a most excellent godmother; I smiled, hesitant to remind her that we have a lot more godparenting ahead of us than behind us.

As a not very sentimental person, I thought of a baptismal gift almost too late to make it happen. But as someone with a stable of talented friends, one of whom was willing to pull a late night and try some innovation in the face of technical difficulties, the idea became reality. We gave Nora an embroidered blanket bearing her name, her baptism date, and the phrase, “Beloved Child of God.”

My prayer is that as she grows up, Nora will read those words early and often. That when she faces a world that tries to tell her she isn’t, she will answer that world, Oh, yes, I am. And that she will know the love of God even when she cannot bring herself to feel it. Because each and every one of us is God’s beloved child, priceless and treasured. I pray that Nora wraps herself in that truth all of her days.

To reach me, send an email to aforbus@arumc.org.