There is a life-giving beauty when we give a name to someone or to something.
This is, perhaps, most easily seen in the naming of a child. A child’s name is rarely chosen lightly and is imbued with meaning. It isn’t just a name. It is an expression of hope, a dream of who this little one might grow to be and how they will bring their own unique loveliness, passion or purpose to the world. Naming bestows a sense of belonging, a promise of family, of safety.
But we don’t bestow that name until the child is in our arms. We may whisper it quiet during the months of waiting, we may share it with others, but it isn’t truly given until that child has come into our arms, our world. And we weep if the child is lost before that time comes, weep at that name being only a whisper in the heart of God.
wrote this about the power of naming:
To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.
In naming my children, I recognized the meaning and value God gave them. I expressed my belief in the place and function he has for them in my heart and, ultimately, in his world. And in naming them I blessed God for the gift that they were in that moment and in the gift they would grow to be. The moment we officially named them in the hospital and the moment we dedicated them before God, sharing the meaning behind their names and our hopes for them, were glorious moments.
But all moments are not so glorious.