(Photo by Alexandria Bowers and edited by Selma Komisky)
Oh, What a Beautiful Name It Is
By Alexandria Bowers
I love names. I’m quite obsessed with them, actually. I own several books that dissect the history of forenames and surnames; thick dictionaries that were crafted and compiled with the sole purpose of sharing the cultural origins and contextual meanings of names.
It’s indeed a strangely endearing hobby of mine. Every time I meet someone or make a new friend, the first thing I do afterwards, is look up their birthright within my handy-dandy “hall of fame, wall of names” codex.
Nerdy, much? Yes. Super nerdy.
But this glasses-wearing gal with messy hair and a lopsided smile has an unashamed affection for names. And she won’t hide it.
I won’t ever closet my adoration for knowing people on a deeper level, in what seems like such a small, intimate way.
Now, I’m not proclaiming all this as a young woman with diehard confidence in herself, but rather a person who knows Who created her, claimed her, and named her as His own.
I’m always in awe of the deep majesty and power that is buried within the trove of a name. It makes my heart ache and my mind spin, knowing that a majority of the people that populate the globe aren’t aware of the unreachable height and undiscovered depth of their given names. More often than not, people get exhausted with their own names. At times, they may even become disgusted with them, whether because they think of them either being plain or not being popular.
Too often, I see girls and women alike chasing after names that aren’t their own, attempting to become someone they’re not and were never intended to be. They strive to dismantle all their wonderful quirks and specialties, and redesign themselves as cultural carbon copies that are accepted by the mass of society. They devalue and degrade their uniqueness. They believe they lack worth, as opposed to understanding that every perfectly flawed phenomenon they possess is there to remind them of Who bestowed upon them worth in the first place.
They want to play the part of a character, praised by man, rather than being the person with the esteemed and virtuous character in the sight of God. They wear makeup as a mask, wanting to be beautiful, because they don’t believe that their beauty is inherent. They want to be the golden girl, because they can’t fathom the truth that their soul is priced at such a high ransom that all the gold in the world couldn’t pay to obtain it. Many are stuck playing dress-up and can’t understand that they weren’t made to run the race of life in shoes that are either too big or too small for them; that they weren’t fashioned to fight the good fight in armor that isn’t the right fit.
Proverbs 22:1 reiterates my thoughts on the matter in this manner:
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (NIV).
Oh, if only this generation of girls and women could cling tightly to this tangible reality, that the name gifted to them upon being born—who they are and all they were made to be—is of more value than the birthstone that accompanies it. A human being is of more worth than that of diamonds, rubies, and pearls.
Girls and women—and yes, boys and men, too—are so precious in God’s eyes. The Creator’s loving and tender crafting of each person hangs on this thread of truth — we are so utterly priceless that God had to give Himself, because He was the only treasure worthy enough to buy back humanity from the bondage of sin’s slavery.
Dear reader, If I had the privilege to speak to you, to meet you just once, I would search for your name within the pages of my well-worn books, in hopes of learning a thing or two more about who you are and all you were made to be. Since I can’t, I pray you know that God knows your name, and that He doesn’t need to flip back and forth through physical books to figure out more facts or information about you.
God wants your name to be written within the Book of Life. And if you desire that, too, then all you need to do is call upon HIS name, for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13, NIV).