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Referring to God on a close, personal level
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Chloe usually calls me “Daddy.” Lately, however, for some reason she’s been calling me “My Daddy.”

The other day Amy asked me why she was doing that.

I told her I didn’t have any idea why, but I was sure it was a phase that would soon pass.

I pretended the discussion was over and walked away. Had Amy seen my face, she would have noticed a not-so-slight smile.

I didn’t admit it to Amy, but it makes me feel very special when Chloe calls me “My Daddy.” I didn’t want it to be a phase. I didn’t want it to soon pass.

The phrase “My Daddy” speaks of a close, personal relationship. It speaks of Chloe’s strong identification with me as her father. It tells me that she’s proud of the relationship and doesn’t care who knows it.

I once heard the story of a committee working to put together a hymnal. One of the committee members wanted to exclude the classic, well-loved song “In the Garden.”

His reason?

“It’s just too self-centered,” he said. “All the hymns should focus on God, not on the writer of the song.”

Then to drive his point home, he recited the words of the refrain, emphasizing the personal pronouns: “He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own.”

One of the other committee members, an older, wiser gentleman sitting at the other end of the table, patiently waited until his colleague was done. He then recited Psalm 23 and emphasized the personal pronouns: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.”

All the other committee members sat in stunned silence for a few moments, wondering what would happen. The first speaker acknowledged the other man’s point, and the song stayed in the hymnal.

A humorous story, but it illustrates the point. God is personal. He loves his children. He desires a close relationship with each and every one of them.

And he loves it when we call him ours.

“My Lord.”

“My Father.”

“My Abba.” Abba (Romans 8:15) is an Aramaic word that means “Daddy.”

God wants me and you to call him “My Daddy.” It speaks of a close, personal relationship. It speaks of our strong identification with him as our heavenly father. It tells the world we’re proud of the relationship, and we don’t care who knows it.

The Rev. Parrish Myers is a minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on

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