Monday, December 21, 2009

What's In a Name

Are you good at remembering names? You know, you meet someone, you talk, you meet them again later and.....POOF! their name is gone.

I hate that about myself, that I am very good with faces but names just go right out of my head. And when I say that I mean people that I might have known fairly well. I will see them at Walmart (where I seem to see everyone) and I will know their face. Our greeting goes like this.....

Hey Debbie, how are you doing?

Heeey there, how are you!!

Notice that I didn't use their name. That is because I am frantically wracking my little gray cells for their moniker. Rats, rats, rats! I know it, I surely do. We spent three years in bible study together or our kids were in the same class. IknowitIknowitIknowit......

But no, there is just a large blank spot there where the name should be. And at that point I hope hope hope that they do not realize that I have somehow hit ctrl/alt/delete on their name and completely wiped it out. I hope they don't realize that throughout our entire conversation, even though I might ask how they are doing and mention a mutual friend (whose name I have remembered) I haven't called them by their name.

I really hate this about myself. Because, you see, names are important. When someone remembers your name, uses your name when they greet you, you know that you are important. It makes you feel good, it makes you feel loved. You know that you are worthy of being known. I know that it does for me when someone calls me by name. That is how we are made, we are make for relationship, for friendship, for knowing.

Um Deb, where are you going with all this? Is this perhaps another installment of "Strange Threads of Thought"? Do you have a point with this rambling?

Yes, yes I do have a point and I think I will get to it now. This little thread of thought started yesterday in church. We have been studying Matthew 1 in a series titled "The Mothers of Jesus". Our scripture was Luke 1:26-45 but the verses that struck me were these:

28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. (the underscore is mine)

God knew Mary's name. The angel Gabriel called her by name. The Lord isn't just some "pie in the sky" god who is out there somewhere and doesn't care about us. He loves us. He knows us. He calls us by name and He never forgets our name.

When we meet Him, even if we have never known Him before, He knows us. He knows our name and he greets us with it.

Oh how wonderful to be known and loved like that.


  1. It's pretty hard to believe, actually. I don't think I'll ever grasp it!

    (I did a post with the same title a while back. Much different

  2. I used to work in an agricultural office and I "knew" the names of every farmer in the county. However, I couldn't always remember I would say, "What is your last name again?" hoping that would jog the first name. Or "What is your first name again?" hoping it would jog the last name (so I could pull their file from the drawer without looking totally incompetent after 30 years in the office.) lol.

    But as for God knowing us by name..not only does he know us by our present name...He will also give us a New name someday. Rev. 2:17.

    Merry Christmas!
    Eat lotsa liverwurst for me. lol

  3. Good post.
    I was at a vet's office and heard him on the phone say, "Now, I know your name, but could you spell it for me?"

    I seem to have an easier time remembering kids' names, so I'm sometimes pulled out of the fire because a mom will generally be just fine with me forgetting her name if I look at the kid at her knees and address him by name.


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