Consumers are well acquainted with brand names, thanks to companies and corporations that spend spent millions in branding and advertising to make sure we do. Think car and the name of your favourite vehicle pops into your mind. Think dogs and, presto, Fido, Mitzy and Sadie appear. Adolph and Hitler do not.
Sharing over coffee the other day an experienced postal delivery employee mentioned some of her work-related horror stories. She and her husband had moved from a quiet area of the province to one of the rougher cities within our borders. Shortly into her new route she approached a somewhat neglected residence and was greeted by a pair of snarling hounds. Shrinking back, she noticed a figure emerging from the front door. He was clad only in a bath towel and possessed a voice as daunting as his animal companions.
“Shut up Adolph! Shut up Hitler!” he snarled before retreating, almost as quickly as did our postie friend.
While I tend to blame the owner more than the titles he attached to his dogs for their ferocious behaviour, it got me thinking about how we name our children. The Bible records that the mother of Jabez, an Old Testament figure, gave him that name because “I gave birth to him in pain”. Wonderfully Jabez chose to move beyond his own pain to find solace in God’s faithfulness.
The names of our sons were chosen because of what they meant to us, even before birth; they and their families have more than fulfilled our hearts’ desires.
No one, regardless of his or her given name, escapes pain in this life. How comforting, then, to know that no matter what our parent(s) called us, there is nothing in our life that’s insignificant to God.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30)