Thursday, May 26, 2011
"What's in a name?"
A few weeks ago, I was watching a television special involving several female country singers. As they announced the artists, it was “Carrie Underwood… Miranda Lambert… Martina McBride… and Reba! Just “Reba,” no last name. I got a kick out of that because Reba’s my favorite, and that just meant she was the best and so awesome she didn’t even need a last name for everyone to know who she was. After a few moments of congratulating myself for being so great at picking favorite singers, I began to wonder if they’d have used her last name if her first name was something more common. Mary McEntire! I began to think about it and I discovered a trend – most people who are famous enough to be known by only one name have weird or unique names: Reba, Cher, Wynonna, Oprah, Shaq, Elvis… Janda.
Normally, that’s where my thought process would’ve ended, but ever since I began contributing to this blog, my mind keeps looking for little ways to make connections between the everyday world and the spiritual life. (Some of those connections are better than others – I nixed the idea about God viewing us as the chocolate chips in a cookie.) Anywho, I’m sure you’re a step ahead of me already, but the obvious connection here is that God knows your name. Even better, He knows you by your first name!
Imagine God and Jesus having the following conversation:
“Wait, which one’s Jane? Is she the one with short blonde hair?”
“No, that’s Joan. Jane’s the one with long brown hair. She usually sits in the 3rd row on the right side.”
“Oh yeah, she’s got 2 little boys, right?”
“No. Well, yeah, there is a Jane with 2 boys, but that’s not this Jane.”
Not going to happen! I have that conversation on a weekly basis, but God knows exactly who we are… no checking a handy little notebook or pulling up a computer spreadsheet (Hmm, let’s see… James, Jan, ah Janda, here it is… let’s see… brown hair, freckles, slight problem with patience, kind of sarcastic… yeah now I remember her).
I missed church a couple weeks ago, but I was told Pastor Bob preached about Hagar. I don’t know what his topic was so maybe he said what I’m about to say, but oh well. Hagar’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible because the first time it was taught to me, the main point was that God called her name. She was a lowly servant, kicked out of her home, humble and alone. She must’ve felt like she was an absolute nobody, but then God, the creator of the universe, the giver of life, the most famous and awesome one-named-person in the world called out to her and knew her name. That’s how important and special she was to Him.
And that’s how important and special YOU are to Him. (“Not a sermon, just a thought.”)