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Thursday, August 18, 2005

"He knows my name...."

From the time I began to grasp the concept of spelling, my name has been an issue (to a greater or lesser degree). Even though it's spelled "M-a-r-c-i-a", it's pronounced "Marsha". So for 40 years, more or less, I've spent a varying amount of time correcting people's perception of my name. Those who could pronounce it didn't know how to spell it and those who knew how to spell it couldn't seem to pronounce it. ("Marseeyah?" "Marcie?" "Maria?")

Growing up, my name issues (along with my reserved nature) made me feel distinctly "forgettable". I was always pleasantly surprised and mildly shocked when someone remembered me from one occasion to the next. I thought it was just me who felt that way.

Years later, I worked in a coffee shop where we wrote the customer's name on their order and called it out when the order was ready. Working there, I discovered I had a knack for remembering names. I also discovered that most people felt that same pleasant shock when I remembered their name as soon as they walked in the door. God has given all of us a desire to be known and recognized.

A few years ago, I discovered a simple little song--"He Knows My Name", by Tommy Walker. The chorus says:
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call.
(© 1996 Doulos Publishing)

God speaks in His Word on more than one occasion of knowing someone by name.

The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus as the Good Shepherd "calls his own sheep by name".

The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:19, "The Lord knows those who are his."

Still, today, people struggle with my name. In fact, it happened again just a few days ago. But someone else's ability to grasp my name isn't an issue anymore. I can smile or even joke when it happens. HE knows my name! That's good to know in a culture that tends toward "namelessness"!

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