Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank You for SHOUTING!!!

Photo Courtesy of ImageryMajestic/

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah  the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
 and Jesse the father of King David.
Matthew 1: 1-6 NIV

I could have gone on here and inserted the genealogy of Christ, after all, God did...and quite honestly, I'm not doing the genealogy any justice by eliminating some of it. 

However, my story today isn't about the genealogy of Christ; it's about the importance of a name.

Sunday, we walked into our church in anticipation of having to locate a friend with whom our daughter could go to the Middle School worship service.  We attend a large church, a mega-church, if you will; so this was going to be difficult. 

However, the minute we walked into church I started to hear shouting coming from the loft area above the foyer:  Evie!  Evie!  Evie!!!
I said, "Evie, someone's calling your name." 

Her smile spread as wide as her face and her eyes twinkled.  She has this little happy "shiver" that runs through her body when she sees her friends...she shivered in delight upon hearing her name being shouted out from the loft.

Yes, a friend of hers had sought HER out and had called HER name.
Do you know what that means to the parent of a child with special needs?  Do you know what it means to the child?
God shows us the importance of names as PROOF of who we are!  We may hunker down for a long reading when we see a genealogy list approach in scripture...but genealogy is God's way of saying, "SEE!!!  It happened JUST as I told you it WOULD!"  There is great beauty in reading a genealogy-They reveal stories of hardship, triumph, brokenness, achievement, and redemption.

Evie's friend shouting her name meant, "I want YOU to come to service with ME..." and that wasn't a sympathy-invitation...that was an invitation of choice.  With all those people around, it would have been easy to retreat away into the crowd and avoid being seen if you didn't REALLY want to sit by my daughter. 

This concept challenged me to do a better job at honoring my students' names when I substitute teach.  Often I may mispronounce a name, or I'll be content just to point and acknowledge a hand in the air because, after all, I am just with this student today and may not see her or him again.  But, a NAME means something...every minute...every day.

Sometimes Evie can't even see or hear the person calling her.  She's legally blind and takes in so many other sounds when she's outdoors that her friend's voices tend to blend in...but I'll always say to her, "Evie, your friend over there said 'hi' and is waving" so she can turn and look and wave back. 

They call to her; when they don't have to, to say "hello" and "good morning."  Don't we all love that?  I LOVE running into people I know.  The amazing thing is, we run into more people that Evie knows than we do!  We got off a train in Virginia City this summer and a classmate of hers came over and said "hello."  Another friend of hers came over when she recognized us at DISNEYLAND this past fall. 

What a tremendous feeling of be recognized by a friend in a different city, in a different state. 
The power of our names.
The power of calling out our names.

Don't underestimate that power which comes from our hearts as we call out in friendship and help someone feel special.

Pray:  Heavenly Father, you know us, each of us, by name.  You knew our names before we were even born.  You all ready know our stories from beginning to end.  Help us to remember that you love our names, and that we are each important to you; so we should be important to one another.  Remind us to call out to our friends, by name, to greet them...whether they can respond to us or not.  We all deserve to have our name called out by choice, in friendship and love.  Amen.


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