It has been said that the most beautiful sound in anyone’s ears is the sound of one’s own name being spoken.
Of course, that does not include the times your mother used your middle name when she called you when you were little!
I wish I were better at remembering names. A recent conversation with my “Yard Boy” husband went something like this:
“Gary, who was the lady who visited here with the granddaughter who picked the bouquet of flowers and then started passing them around to all our guests?”
“Her name is Brenda.”
“I thought so.”
I had been trying to make a point of remembering names better, because of the question Brenda asked me.
“How do you remember all these plant names?” was Brenda’s incredulous query as I was showing her around the back yard. I had been lovingly introducing each plant to her by its name.
My own answer was more of a revelation to me than it probably was to her.
“Because I love them so much.”
It made me wonder why I couldn’t always remember the name of this precious sister in Christ. Of course I love her more than I love a Cranberry Ice Coreopsis or an Amsonia Hubrechtii. In fact, her granddaughter Harlynn was even allowed to pick my first peony for her bouquet.
When it comes to people versus flowers, people win hands down. To my defense, I do spend more time with the plants than I do with people, and we invited Kevin and Brenda over so that we could know them better.
But names — Oh, I do need to work on them!
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, NASB).
When we treasure something, we pour our heart and our attention into it. When we value our Christian family, we put effort into learning not only their names but also their cares, joys, and sorrows.
Jesus gives us the ultimate example.
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3).
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus not only knows our names, but uses them to lead us. It is a sign of his tender affection that he cares enough to know us very well. He knows our names, our strengths, our weaknesses, our cares and our troubles. And with love unmatched by any love we have ever known, he calls us by name and leads us through our lives and into eternity.
Those who do not know the name of Passiflora Caerulea will be no worse off in eternity than those of us who have learned that and hundreds of other plant names.
But we will want to know one name for certain.
“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10).