Today, I received a lovely Christmas letter via snail mail from a friend that I met last summer at a conference in North Carolina. Her name is Jeannette and she is from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. Isn’t that the coolest name for a town? But that’s not really what this is about. It’s about connections made by students day-in and day-out. It’s about the great ideas found in literature and how they come out of the students when you least expect it. It’s another reason I love homeschooling my kids. And books. Did I mention I love books?
Back to the letter. After reading it, sighing and stating that it was such a refreshingly honest, albeit late, Christmas letter, Marit, my 12 year old, asked if she could read it herself. I said she could.
When she was through, Marit said, “Mom, she signed it as a “kindred spirit”. I guess she must be of the race that knows Joseph.”
Blink. “What are you talking about, Marit?”
“You know, that Anne of Green Gables stuff.”
I said, “Maybe you should look that one up, ’cause you are not making any sense to me.”
Awhile later, she returned with Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montogmery.
“See – right here, ” she said as she pointed out the passage. “It just means she knows God, too.”
Wow. So, I googled it. Turns out a gal at the blog A Common Life had this great explanation:
The Race That Knows Joseph
The story of Anne of Green Gables has a strong emphasis on friendship, especially in Anne’s younger days. She calls her friends “kindred spirits”. In a later book, Anne meets an older woman who uses the term, “race that knows Joseph”. That thought always intrigued me and several years after reading that for the first time, I came across the biblical reference where she got the phrase. Exodus 1:8 gives the moment in time that Israel ceased its period of comfort in Egypt, while under Joseph’s rule with the Pharaoh. “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” So, the reverse being that those who were believers in God, who followed Him, were of the group that “know Joseph”.
All that to say this — One of the most amazing earthly gifts that God has given us is fellowship with other believers. What joy they bring with their “kindred spirits” — we’re one in the body of Christ! Our fellowship with believers at its best encourages us, strengthens us, and shows love to us. Of course, it’s the Holy Spirit living within us as believers that gives us the ability to do all of those things. When we accept Christ as the living Savior of our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within our hearts, and we begin to show fruit of that — love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. What better qualities could you ask for in a friend?
Yes, Marit, Jeannette is of the race that knows Joseph. Thanks for the wonderful letter, Jeannette!