Terms of Endearment

For as long as I’ve been married (almost 39 years) I have been hearing the precious name the Collins family elders have for each other, their children and their grandchildren–“Lambie”.

My 92 year old mother-in-law still uses the term for my husband (who is ahem, 67 now), as well as calling all the rest of us, and especially her great-grandchildren by that nickname.

I sat down and asked her recently the origin of the term. She couldn’t remember the particulars, but she was pretty sure it was a family term of endearment used for my husband’s Father Paul–who passed away in July 2 years ago. 

It was a ‘pet’ name just for him, that was eventually adopted by all the Collins’ and the term has survived the generations.

Part of those generations, my grandchildren, live 3 hours away and I see them way too seldom.  I have a pile of reminders, tho’, on our bed that is reassembled each morning, and there they sit–5 little lambies, each one a little different, purchased when each grandchild was born.

I’ve been thinking about sheep (and lambs) and shepherds as I plow through a very old book on the Song of Solomon–‘Christ and His Bride’ (Cora MacIlravy, 1916). I say plow because it is a deep, rich book and I want to take my time.

Whatever people can say about the Song of Solomon in these ‘modern times’, its parallels to married intimacy and so on, I side with the earlier interpretation that it was fully intended ultimately as a book of intimacy and longing–Christ for His bride, and we for Him, our bridegroom.

Leaving any controversies aside, back to the sheep.  And the Shepherd. 

Jesus states it very clearly in John Chapter 10 who He is and who WE are:

“3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. <sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”> 
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them,
 and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
We are his sheep and we are  also his bride.  In verse 7 of Song of Solomon, the bride is asking,  “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loves, where thou feedest thy flock, where thou makest it to rest at noon.” 
Where are you, God?  Where are your children?  I want to be there–in your presence. 
Miss Cora puts it this way (in all it’s 1916-ish, King Jamesy glory):
{my thoughts below each phrase}
“O Thou, whom my soul loveth,’ tell me where Thou art feeding Thy flock,
that I may ever keep step with Thee;
(Keep me looking for where You are, Lord)
and not be lingering over food that is dried, withered and untimely,
(these are just crumbs, they’re not mine, not now)
even though it may once have been fresh.
(I need new manna every day)

Guide me, that I may walk in every ray of light and

(just the light I need for today)
continually feed upon thee who are the Bread of life.”
(only you can satisfy me, Jesus)

Right now, the truth is my life is a struggle with necessary and sometimes unnecessary time-consumers, leaving me alone, lonely and lost away from the flock, following a score of other voices.  Life is just plain busy to take the time I long for to be in the presence of the Lover of my Soul.
But I praise God his voice is love.  His voice is tenderness.  And in my busy-ness, He knows I seek Him.  I long to hear from Him, and He is faithful to feed me along the way–a nugget when I need it, nourishment for the moment, to keep me hungering and thirsting for more.
I hear his voice calling me…….by name, not childish but child-like, His lambie. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joining with Jennifer for God Bumps


    
                        
and with the Community at:
Finding Heaven

4 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment

  1. and even in your busyness he pursues you as well…one of his sheep….lambie is a pretty cute pet name too…ha…i can go either way on the intimacy in SOS because they are both connected to me…

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  2. He's my shepherd and I'm one of his sheep… maybe a small and weak and tired little lamb sometimes … but I trust and rely on Him to keep me in the right place, and, when I've become independent and run off, that He'll grab me with that staff and pull me back to Himself and drape me over His shoulder. Can't imagine a much nicer place. And He could just say, “Now, Lambie, listen to Me and obey Me and life will move more smoothly.”

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