Posted on by Malinda


As a student of the Hebrew Scripture I am and have always been reminded of the power of naming. Naming was not just a happenstance - it was an intentional act and meant to prove lineage. It was also a means of conveying power. Power over. 

I name you. I own you. You are mine. 

So I often think of how we are named and how we name others.

For me - I was named for a great grandmother I would never know, her spelling and all. And it is ironic to me that in her day she led the then called "Sunday School" and her husband - George - well just get out on this one - was a "sweet" singer in the choir. 

I was named. In love.

And along the way I learned other names. Some not so good, some I was forbidden to utter - you know what I mean.

So today I wonder at the a names we use for each other. Are we "naming" without knowing? Are we "naming" without understanding the depth and reach of what we call each other? Are we letting names get in our way?

I was talking with a friend and realized that in all that we have shared about our families - you know her kids and grandkids - that I did not know an important family name. She shared it with me and shared moreover that it had been one hard for her family to learn and that for a while they had "shorthanded it" to make it easier. The shorthand was not honoring and it did change. 

I am practicing this new name hoping one day to meet its owner. To honor.

What we call each other is more than words What we call Israel and Palestine is more than words. 

Our names for each other are predictive of our actions. 

Let us do as best we can to make sure we know each other's names.

And act in honor of them.