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  • Mike and Helen

Who is calling my name?

My 19 month old niece said my name this week for the first time. It was during a FaceTime call. Absolutely unequivocally my name. My brother said she said it 10 times more after the call ended. This small event made me even happier than I had expected to be. I told everyone who would listen, sometimes more than once! ‘She said my name!’ There was another similar moment recently when I was a good couple of hours from home visiting my in-laws. We were in a big stately home Park for a brisk walk. It was bracing and windy so I had my hood up. Somehow, through all the muffle and layers (the hood does make me pretty deaf!), I heard my name called. I looked around and there was a favourite client of mine. I had absolutely no idea she lives in that area. She admitted she wasn’t sure if it was me or not so she called my name to see if it was. A lovely chance encounter because someone called my name. Living in London for as long as we have, you can get used to anonymity. No one knows your name or who you are. You can be anyone you choose. If you have the resources and the desire you can have anything you want at any time,. And sometimes that is wonderful. It is liberating. It allows you to discover who you are and who you aren’t. But anonymity has its limitations. A third incident this last week struck me. I was headed to a meeting. I was late, ill-prepared and to be honest, I knew before I got on the train the meeting that wasn’t likely to be useful. But the train doors opened. I got on and headed to my destination. The train didn’t say my name. The train doors opened mechanically. No checks about whether I really should reschedule or cancel this meeting. It didn’t query me at all. And I thought about my name. And who uses it. And who I allow to use it. And the importance of having people in my life who know me and know my name. And will call me by it in love and recognition – and honesty. People who will ask me if I am being true to myself. And if I am being authentic. “I will call you by your name, you are mine” God says in Isaiah. God says he will do that. I believe God uses people in my life who will call my name, ask me those significant questions. People who know your name are important. I want to cherish them. And my niece knows mine!

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