A Name Is a Powerful Thing

Char and I ate an early dinner at Olive Garden yesterday. Had begun to snow and we wanted to get home before the roads froze.

When we walked in the door, a young waitress emerged from the bar area, smiled and called me Dr. Bellah. I did what I always do when I recognize a face but not a name. I confessed.

“Andrea,” she said. “Andrea B,” and she gave me a hug.

Then the hostess appeared and took us to our seats. Andrea disappeared, a bit awkwardly it seemed to me, and I cursed my bad memory.

I work hard to learn my students’ names. Used to be I had them, all 125 of them, by the second week of the semester. Now it takes three weeks; sometimes four.

I know that a name is a powerful thing. It’s more than a designation; it’s who we are. At the Name of Jesus every knee will bow.

Another reason I’m impressed with God. He forgets our sins but never our names:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:26).

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