Letter to Lucy

To Our Darling Little Girl

Welcome to our family! We are exceedingly thankful that God has seen fit to entrust your life to us. We are also humbled; raising a child is an immense responsibility and we know that in our own strength and wisdom it would be an impossible undertaking. But God knows what He is doing and has sovereignly chosen to place you in our family. We pray that He will enable us to be good stewards of that trust. It is important to know and remember that this family is a Christian one. You will be baptized right away—and we believe that brings you into a covenant with Christ. Growing up knowing God is a wonderful blessing. It is also a big responsibility, because “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Our prayer for you, right from the beginning, is that God will draw your heart to Him and that you will be a faithful servant in His kingdom.

As we write this letter, we have not yet seen your face. We have felt your movements and eagerly imagined your growth as we watch your mother’s belly expand. Though we can’t see you, you have certainly been in our thoughts as we prepare for your entrance into our family, and one of the biggest considerations has been what name to give you. We believe names are important. As God was forming the universe, He was also giving names to His creation. After He made Adam, God told him to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Naming the animals was the first way that Adam began to take dominion. “And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” In literature, characters are shaped by the names that authors give them. God is the Great Author and has given us the privilege of naming you. We know you will be formed by the names we decide on, so we have named you after people whose footsteps you can be proud to follow in, whose stories you can live up to.

Your first name is Lucy, a character from C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia—a series you will come to know well. She possesses a number of qualities we admire: she’s truthful, even in the face of mockery; sensible (it is a very silly thing to shut one’s self up in a wardrobe); warm-hearted and caring for others; and courageous, even when it means venturing into an unknown, icy land armed only with borrowed fur coats. But Lucy is only one personality from the world of Narnia, and it is because of our love for Narnia that we’ve chosen this name. By reading these stories, we enter that world along with the children and learn the lessons that they learn: what true nobility is, what godly authority looks like, how God’s grace works, and many others. Most importantly, we learn to know and love the lion king Aslan. When Lucy stood for the last time in Narnia, she was desolated at the idea of never seeing Aslan again. When asked if he was in our world too, Aslan responded, “I am, but there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” We hope that by giving you the name of Lucy, you too will come to know Aslan a little and by knowing him, be drawn closer to Christ, whom he truly represents.

Your second name is Jael, a woman who lived in Israel during the times of the judges. For twenty years, the children of Israel had been oppressed by Jabin, king of Canaan. When Deborah called Barak to obey God’s command to deploy troops against Sisera (the commander of Jabin’s army), Barak said he would go only if she came with him. And Deborah replied, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” On the day of the battle, the Lord used Barak to rout the mighty army of Sisera, but the Canaanite general fled away on foot to the tent of Jael. Deborah commemorates what happens next in a song of praise:

“Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite;
blessed is she among women in tents.
He asked for water, she gave milk; she brought out cream in a lordly bowl.
She stretched her hand to the tent peg, her right hand to the workmen's hammer;
she pounded Sisera, she pierced his head, she split and struck through his temple.
At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; at her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell dead….
Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord!
But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength.”

We certainly don’t expect that God will call you to drive a tent peg through anyone’s head, but we want your life to be characterized by heroic acts. These acts will probably not be as glorious as Jael’s and it’s likely that there won’t be a song sung in commemoration of them. But we as Christians are called to imitate Christ, who exemplified true heroism by laying down His life sacrificially for us. From babyhood and learning how to obey, to childhood days of learning to work, to womanly maturity and learning to give your life for God, husband, and children, may all your deeds be done in a spirit of true nobility and valor.

We give you the third name, Valiant, because we want you to possess that character attribute. When Lucy became queen in Narnia, her own people called her “Queen Lucy the Valiant.” But you cannot be truly valiant without the help of God. In Prince Caspian, there is a scene in which Aslan asks Lucy to do a hard task for him, one she is not strong enough to complete on her own. In her weakness, she buries her head in the safety of his mane and as she does so, feels lion-strength going into her. As Lucy took refuge with Aslan and found strength, so may you find shelter with God and may His strength flow to you so that He can say to you as Aslan said to Lucy, “Now you are a lioness and now all Narnia will be renewed.”

When we bring you forward at church to be baptized and the pastor asks, “What is the Christian name of this child?” we will reply, “Lucy Jael Valiant.” The name Lucy means “Light Bringer,” and we pray that you will “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) But you must not think that you are light on your own. Remember Ephesians 5:8 which says, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” May you be a “Light Bringer,” valiant as Jael, who will shine like the sun when it comes out in full strength.