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  • Writer's pictureDeena

Name calling

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

A trumpet sounds long, low blasts of notes upstairs during a skype lesson while the girls navigate our first year of video schooling downstairs.

One already told me she has an earache and they're only two subjects in.

A very happy Tuesday to you friends.

This first day of school had me preheating the oven before the birds were up to make our family's traditional breakfast casserole signifying that something great is happening today.

I think I was willing it to be a good day first thing.

By ten I had already begun using up the last of the pie filling (saved from salmonella... see previous posts) to make something wonderful, so you can just call me Betty Homemaker.

The downstairs bathroom toilet has backed up into the shower necessitating my dear husband to call for a "snake" and sigh to me before beginning his endeavor, "This just may be the nastiest job I've ever done."

I wanted to chime that I had some diapers that might top that, but then I realized it's basically diapers he's dealing with. Like, more than one at a time, so I just gave him a hug of support.

One of the girls saw the muck beginning to seep out into the hallway and told us all that she had already stepped in "that."

Yeah, she's gonna need some new socks.

Some days I wonder what I myself have stepped into.

So I'd say it's the perfect day to begin a new school year.

At least the kitchen will smell like apple pie.

With all the "muck" seeping into our homes via the news, social media and the like, are you hunting for goodness like I am?

And today the Lord handed me such a story.

It was of a teenage boy who was deaf. He was headed to the hospital to begin training with a cochlear ear implant.

Watching little ears and big ears for that matter turn "on," and hear something for the first time has to be one of my favorite "feel good" addictions.

I've watched babies hear their Mother's voices, children hear their own voice and even sat mesmerized as a young adult woman's first sentence understood audibly was that of her boyfriend asking her to marry him.

I mean, can you even?

So while the dishwasher hummed, I watched this boy in the UK answer some questions from his Mom before the big appointment at the hospital.

She asked him, "What's the one thing you want to hear most?"

Without hesitation he replied, "My name."

"I've waited my whole life to hear the sound of my own name."

This befuddled me.

He then leaned into his mom and let a few tears trickle out knowing that for some, these implants are not an amazing fix.

His name.

The sound of his own name from those he loved most.

Now I know that the dishwasher is leaking, (did I forget to mention that?!) the trumpet is blasting, the muck is still flowing and the school dvds are glitching but even on a normal day this would catch me in my throat.

I was glued to my phone watching him enter the hospital, nervously sit and even ask to turn the device off because of dizziness.

I felt sad and happy and sweaty as I watched him shake his head telling the technician that he couldn't hear the beeps being sent via computer.

She turned the sound up.

Still nothing.

The video ends with him sharing a recording of a high-pitched bird he could hear and captured on a little recorder in hopes to one day hear other sounds clearly.

This was not a "Hallmark" ending. I was disappointed that it had not been labeled, "If your drain has backed up, this is not the 'Everything's coming up daisies,' video you are looking for.

I searched for other news of this dear boy and nothing.

No word if he ever heard his name, was getting closer, nothing.

Just a strained smile and heaps of hope.

Yes I cried.

Yes I still cry.

I tried to get over it and bake a pie for my own teen.

I even listened to a podcast only to find that it was regarding the groanings we all experience here on this earth.

Joni Erickson Tada pointed out sharply that "even the Holy Spirit groans," in Romans 8:26- "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Even HE groans for us laboring day in and day out in a world cursed with sin and sadness.

I washed the mess I had made from my pie and stood to listen to the birds at my back feeder.

I seemed to enjoy their chirping just a bit more than I had moments earlier.

Is that possible?

And I glanced across the kitchen to the black and white photos of my six children.

I saw their own names staring back at me as they smiled.

Each name perfectly suited to their faces.

I laughed thinking of a dear sweet sweet lady at church that cannot for the life of her remember two of my children's names calling them, "NORMAN," and "AMY." Every Sunday she hands them candy and I'd say that just about makes up for the renaming.

And then I thought on my own name.

Five letters long.

Two "E's" given so as not to mispronounce it thanks to my Father, but lo and behold, it still finds the funniest pronunciations.

When I was little writing my full name was quite the chore.

Sure my first name is a breeze, but try writing a nine-letter middle name out for the first time in cursive.

I used to want to change my middle name to one of my sister's growing up.

One has "Michelle," and the other, "Christine."

You can't tell me they didn't hit the middle name jackpot if there ever was one.

I even remember making a joke one year in school that my initials were my grade point average, "DFD."

My sweet sister-in-law even had a Thirty-one lunch bag embroidered for me that was adorably funny.

My newly wedded initials in full monogram style spelled, "DRF."

Yep. It still makes me giggle.

Those initials just about sound-out what I feel about the downstairs drain.

But over the years, even though I never had shoelaces, necklaces or pencils with my name on them, I have come to love and appreciate not just the spelling of my name, but the sound of it.

I know in an instant if my Mom is getting ready to challenge me with something, or laugh with me over some mishap by the way she says my name.

I feel the blessing of tight kinship or the weight of a burden by how a trusted friend uses my name.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when my husband uses it.

He can call me, "Lovely," "Mrs. Royalty," or "Sweetheart," as he is apt to do, but has this unique way to annunciating those five letters of my first name.

He makes it sound so sweet that I sometimes ask him to speak to me, "on a first name basis."

My sister-in-law holds the "E's" out until I'm giggling when I have beaten her in a card game or tricked her in some way and it's just the best thing.

My old neighborhood friends still call me "Dee," which falls wonderfully on the ears too.

I enjoy my old college chum calling me "Deen," just as Joel did when we were first dating.

I'm thankful for my name.

Even my middle name which I decided to give to what we thought at the time was our last little girl.

We added two first names while we were at it, even though the lady at church still calls her "Amy."

All to find out that we were to have another girl to give a zillion names to.

Life is tricky like that.

As I cleaned the kitchen and tried to lift my eyes to something that would balance the weight of this teen seeking to just hear his own name, the Lord, as He wonderfully does, met me in His word:

Isaiah 43:1- "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

What an inexpressible comfort to know that God calls us by our name.

HE formed us, and HE knows us.

He knows that I'm burdened down to the very depths of me for this boy to hear his name and he reminds me that He calls him by his name.

And it overwhelms me.

The thought that we don't have to have working ears to hear the glory of our God.

Psalm 19:1-3 reminds me- "(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

There is no place where the heavens don't resound the glory of a Master Creator.

No place where it cannot be heard.

The Lord reminds me that today I can trust him to make himself heard to a boy in the UK searching for hope.

That I may groan in this world for a boy to audibly hear his name, for a friend in the hospital battling with sick lungs, for a Mother gone to heaven with her unborn little one, but he knows and he hears and speaks into every single moment of this sin-filled world.

He groans as He prays FOR us as we lean in to hear his voice in every hard we face each day.

And as we lean in close to hear him call our name clear and true we can rest in the fact that we are known down to our very core.

God never misspells or mispronounces our names no matter how unique.

For me He knows to add another "E," and says, "You are mine."

And one day, we will be able to say with Job, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” Job 42:5

One day our faith will be turned to sight.

One day we will see how much it mattered that we strained to hear the voice of the Lord calling, comforting, compelling us to draw ever closer to Him.

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