I have a confession. I am a Facebook junkie. There. I said it. It’s true. I love stalking FB to see what my friends are up to. I have folks I love dearly, but see rarely and Facebook is a great way to know what’s going on in their world and to know how to better pray for them. I see struggles, stress and hardships. I see joy and wonderment and cute pictures. And I see randomness. Often, I think Facebook is a good place to vent about a pet peeve, get it off your chest, let others criticize or agree and consequently, let it go.
Today, I read a friend’s pet peeve post and at last count, she had almost thirty comments on it. She certainly hit a nerve with folks. Her pet peeve was this: people “truncating” her name to a shortened, more familiar nickname….one she has never used. (By the way, truncating was her word, not mine, but I thought it seemed so perfect, I just had to use it too!) You see, this friend’s name is Cynthia. I know that an acceptable, shortened form of Cynthia is Cindy….or Cyndi….or Cindi….okay, you get the point….but that isn’t what she’s called by. Her name is Cynthia. End of story. So, when a person who doesn’t know her, yet is trying to form a quick bond (like a business person or sales person) and calls her Cynthia, it doesn’t make her like and trust them, it ticks her off. As a person who has always been called by my middle name, I completely understand. Nothing annoys me more than to be called by my first name in an attempt to build a rapport that simply isn’t there. You want to know my name? Ask. I’ll gladly tell you that I go by Leigh. And yes, it matters.
You see, since names are what we’re known by, I know if a person calls me looking for “Sharon,” they know me only on a professional level. Maybe they work at the bank or doctor’s office, but they don’t know me, or they would’ve asked for Leigh. Sadly, we live in a world that has decided to make professionalism and manners unimportant. What used to be reserved only for the closest of friends has turned into a common way to address anyone. Back in the day, if you called looking for me on a professional level, you would’ve asked for Mrs. Pack. When I first started at Harris Teeter back in the dark ages, we would’ve never dreamed of calling a store manager by anything other than Mr. Last Name. Now the first names are tossed about as casually as the food you buy. (oh….another rant for another day.)
But, God. <—- Love this! Always means turning point!
But, God knows you. He knows who you are really. When He calls you by your name (and yes, He does, if you’re listening), He knows exactly who He’s speaking to. He knew you before you were born. He knew who you were going to be and what your name was going to be. And He loved you. He loves you. And He never says your name in vain. When He says it, it’s with love and purpose. And, I don’t know about you, but to me that is a sweet, precious fact.
Now, I know this is a weird post. But, we live in a day of anonymity masked by a false familiarity, caused by every tidbit of our information being “out there” for everyone to see. It’s an easy task to find out my name. But, that doesn’t mean that you know me. I love hearing my name called by the folks I love and who love me back, because they know me. And I love, even more, knowing that my God knows my name….but, more importantly, He knows me and has since before I was born. (The Bible even says He knows how many hairs are on my head!) I hope that fact makes you smile like it makes me smile!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! Psalm 139:1
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Luke 12:7