“Cadmus – too heavy.
Caesar – too Roman.
Cailan- too common.
Cain – too damned.
Caldwell- too last-namish.
Caleb – Hey, I think I like that name.” I looked up at my husband over my bulging stomach and the Best Baby Name Book resting on top. His mouth was wide open. “What do you think?” I said.
“That’s his name,” he replied, “before you even said it, the Spirit whispered his name to me.” There was no more searching after that. This is how my second son was named- James Caleb.
Are names important in the eternal scheme of things? Why would the Spirit extend itself enough to tell my husband the name of my son if it wasn’t important? I know my name has importance to me. It shaped my character, in a way. My first name was spelled in a slightly unique way –giving countless teachers pause. They would stop at my name while reading the role and ask about it. I had no middle name – a vast space between the first and last – it seemed to me. My last name was like a vital backbone holding up the shape of my life. My parents and grandparents were emphatic about the people who came before me and that I had a legacy to live up to. Names can create character. Think of Al Dente or Claire Blue Waters. How about Dan D. Lyons or Harry Caray? Don’t you think that their names shaped their lives?
Justine Dorton reminds us, however, that the most important name we can take on is the name of our Savior in her essay Names. She also reminds us of the links names can create between generations. Please take a few minutes to read it, if you haven’t had a chance, and reflect on the names that have influenced you. Then, let us know what you think and share your “name” stories in the comments below.
P.S. Be sure to sign your name.