How do you feel when someone calls you by your name?
It depends how they use your name, doesn’t it? And what they call you…
My name is Alison, but I love when people call me Ali. I consider it a name only friends call me. There’s nothing formal or stiff about it… it feels warm and relaxed.
When I used to introduce my school friends to my dad he would always ask their name, then proceed to enquire about – or explain – the origin of their name. It was rather embarrassing at the time, but I think some of my friends kind of liked the interest he showed.
Because our names – in a way – reflect us – our origins and our background. And if someone remembers our name, it shows they care.
I have a frame on the wall with my name across the top in big letters, and underneath, all the things I know to be true about me. Why are they true? Because the Bible tells me they are.
My friend gave me the frame a few years back. She’d used her time and energy to write down a range of statements she knew would encourage me in my walk with God. Here it is:
I look at it each time I need reminding that I’m a “saint in Christ”, “a new creation”, “a child of God”, and so on.
It reminds me of my identity… Who Christ proclaims me to be, simply because I’m his.
When Jesus calls us by name, our lives change. We see this in the Bible story about Zacchaeus, who was so eager to get a glimpse of Jesus that he climbed up a tree when he was passing through the crowds. Jesus doesn’t just say “hey – you in the tree!”. He looks up at him and says “Zacchaeus! Come down from there…”, and promptly arranges a meeting at his house. Nothing is the same for this tax collector from now on.
Before time began, my life was in God’s hands. God knows my name, and my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call. I have a Father who calls me his own…
These are some words from a beautiful song by Geoff Moore. If you have a couple of minutes, listen to this proclamation that even if no one knows your name, God does. He values you as his child, created for a purpose that is all your own… Allow him to gently name you his child, his son or daughter, his heir, his beloved…