My immediate gut reaction was that I did not, under any circumstances, want Phoebe to be peculiar. Peculiar means that she is different. It means that she might not have many friends, and it means that she might even be ridiculed. Peculiar people find loneliness easily... or at least, this peculiar person did.
But I think that she's right. Phoebe is peculiar. And not just in the way that all children are unique, although my experience with two-year-olds is fairly limited. Her "peculiarness" isn't really something I can easily identify, but I know it's there.
A few days after this conversation, my mind drifted to a scripture about peculiar people:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light... 1 Peter 2:9
I've been reading through the Old Testament and have been camped out in Leviticus and Numbers these last several weeks. I remember at one time in my life feeling like these particular books of the Bible, with their rules about sacrifice and unclean meats and the like, would have no relevance to me. And yet I'm learning an abundance from these neglected books (or at least, they're neglected in my Bible). All of the instructions given to the Israelites were in order that they might be set apart - different from other nations. And we, like the Israelites, are set apart -- peculiar -- that we might bring glory to God.
Although we live under grace, we are still called to obedience through grace. We live in the world, but we are not to be of it. This is no easy task. I'm so afraid of being different that I feel like I avoid this; yet my sweet little toddler is teaching me that it is okay to be set apart. And it's my prayer that Phoebe will continue to be a peculiar little person, that she might proclaim the greatness of the One who calls her out of darkness into light.