At this time of year, as I prick my fingers sewing nametapes into the children’s clothes, I ineveitably come back to thinking of this story. It’s one of my favourites, so I thought I would post it again for those who didn’t see it the first time around, and for those who did, but need to hear it again..
This is how I remember it… like a page in the much-loved story book of the children’s early lives… a moment that God used to touch my heart.
It’s more than ten years since my firstborn started school, but I still remember the day when I was battling through the pile of freshly-bought school uniform, dutifully sewing in the little white woven name tapes, and my four year old came to ask me what I was doing.
Now, I’ve read that the average four year old asks around 200 questions a day, and mine was maybe even a little above average in this department, so I cast around for an answer that would pre-empt any further questions and maybe even send him back to his lego:
“I’m sewing in little tapes with your name on them, to show everyone that these clothes belong to you; and then no-one can take them away from you and they can’t get lost.”
It must have been a good answer, because he just looked very thoughtfully at me and then disappeared upstairs to his room again.
A minute later though, he reappeared, dragging his much beloved (and slightly gruesome) Blue-Blanky. This worn and grubby cot blanket had been at his side constantly for the past three years (apart from one heart-rending moment in a motorway service station and some late-night under-the-cover-of-darkness trips through the washing machine…) and was a great source of comfort to him, and occasional stress to me!
“Sew my name on Blue-Blanky Mummy,” he said earnestly, “then everyone will know it’s mine, and no-one can say it’s not and it can never ever be lost, or taken away”
So I did.
About a week later I was reading Ephesians when this verse caught a hold of my heart:
“Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of his glory” Ephesians 1: 13-14 NIV
I suddenly realised that the Father has done the equivalent of sewing a woven nametape onto my very heart and soul – he has marked me with a seal.
Isn’t that marvellous?… isn’t it wonderful? The Holy Spirit is the irrevokable royal seal on your life that declares to the earth and to the heavens for ever and ever: “This soul is MINE”.
When I look at this picture, I hear God whispering:
“Everyone will know you are mine, no-one can say you are not, and you can never ever be lost, or taken away”
I wonder if you do too?