Called By Name

It’s so easy to forget someone’s name. I can forget a name as soon as the person walks away after telling me their name two minutes before. I can forget a name of someone I’ve known for years. Sometimes I can remember a spouse’s name but not the one I’m talking to. I can remember the kids’ names but not the parents and vise versa. It just happens; the name disappears somewhere into my brain, sometimes never to return.

I’m so thankful for the name-tags we wear at church. During a Sunday morning full of greeting and talking to people, my brain is so overloaded with facts and activities of the morning that names simply do not take priority. It’s nice when everyone wears their name-tag and I can then quickly look at them to remind myself whom I’m talking to. After a long summer of activities and vacations, we need these name-tags as reminders. Children grow by inches over the summer, and it’s nice when they wear their name-tags to help us older folks remember who they are and whom they belong to. I so enjoy calling everyone by their names. It helps me feel more connected to everyone around me.

God has called each of us by name. In Isaiah 43:1, it says, “I have called you by name; you are mine.” God claims us as his own, making a connection with us by knowing our name and calling us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We can do the same. When we call someone by their name, we too can bring light into them. Many times when I talk to someone addressing them by name, their faces light up. I’m always happy when someone calls me by name. I get the feeling that I am connected and cared about.

I’m almost never not wearing my name-tag on Sundays, Wednesdays or during church events because I know how hard it is to remember names. Even if I repeat a new name out loud, that new name many times escapes my brain. If we all wear our name-tags, everyone will feel more comfortable and less shy talking to someone they don’t know very well because then no one has to worry if we forget or don’t know a name. I would like to encourage all of you to wear your name-tag on Sunday and Wednesday. Wearing your name-tag is so helpful for everyone: me, the pastors, ushers and those serving in leadership.

I would love to be fully engaged in conversation knowing exactly whom I’m talking to, instead of trying so hard to remember names and not listening as I should. Most Sundays we have 100 people worshipping each service, and on Wednesdays, we have between 30 and 100 people. It’s nice when everyone wears their name-tag and I and the pastors don’t have to concentrate so hard on remembering names. We can then concentrate on the conversation we are having and most importantly on YOU!