DAY 37: Friday 24 April
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
How often does someone ask us the question ‘What’s your name’? My guess is that in more normal times, it would be several times a week or even per day. It’s not just verbal requests such as arriving for an appointment somewhere or checking some detail with your insurance company or even the friendly bobby who pulls you over, so many people want to know your name.
You can’t escape the identity questions even doing things online – they ask your name, your password, your postcode and even the colour of your grandma’s hair!
Then do you remember the good old days when you could book a hotel or restaurant and on arrival you’re greeted with ‘Good evening sir, what’s the name?’
The title song to the 2006 James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ is entitled ‘You know my name’ written and performed by James Cornell and contains the lyrics – ‘Arm yourself because no one else here will save you, the odds will betray you and I will replace you…..You know my name.’
I’ve shared many times how I have struggled over many years to remember people’s names. When I used to visit business clients, I would arrive at the Reception desk, ask for Mr ……… then take a seat until he comes to collect me. If the wait was more than 5 minutes, I would too frequently forget his name. He would greet me ‘Hello Mr Groves, come this way’ and lead me to his office. Meanwhile my brain is scrambling still trying to remember his name whilst quietly hoping we meet someone in the corridor on the way to his office and they greet my host with ‘Hi Peter!’ All too often we would arrive in his office and I’m scanning the top of his desk from the wrong side looking for clues, but often having to ‘wing it’ until I get to open my briefcase and there’s his name on my file!
Over many years I have been involved with the CCCF (Caravanners and Campers Christian Fellowship) which, among many other things, organises a big national rally every Spring Bank Holiday in different parts of the UK. Because I was always up on stage for the meetings attended by hundreds of people, everyone could see me and ‘knew’ who I was from playing the keyboard, leading and speaking. The problem was that they all ‘knew’ who I was and seemed to automatically presume that I would know who they were which could be embarrassing in conversations around the campsite. I might recognise the face but draw a blank on their name or even where they came from. So, I could be standing at the water tap filling my Aquaroll when a lady calls across and asks ‘have you seen Stephen around?’ which would be embarrassing. Who is Stephen; is he the husband or her son, or is she looking for somebody else answering to the name ‘Stephen’?
I don’t do so bad at the Chapel – I think I manage to recognise you all and can remember your name and usually some other details as well. Some years ago an American university did a study to find out the maximum number of people outside of your immediate family you can have a meaningful relationship in remembering basic information – their name, their family, where they live, their interests etc. etc. The study came up with a figure of around 120-130. This was before the days of social media which cheats because you’ve got all their personal information on your phone in front of you.
Jeff Lucas tells of an embarrassing occasion when he was doing book signings at a Spring Harvest event some years ago. A smart lady approached the table where he was sat and thanked him for his talks and the previous books of his that she had enjoyed. He vaguely recognised this lady and seemed to recall she was from one of the churches he had been involved with some years previously. She continued chatting briefly and then presented the book that she wanted him to sign. His mind was still blank of who she was, but undaunted, he took up his pen, smiled at her and then asked, ‘I don’t remember how you spell your name’.
She smiled back and responded ‘it’s still spelled the same as I’ve always spelled it: ‘P-A-M’
In these days in which we are living, many thousands of people are feeling lost and unknown to government systems and other agencies. Being stuck at home for weeks can make people feel isolated, unknown and unloved. We need to share God’s promises that he knows every detail of our lives, not just our name but even to the number of hairs on our head. And be reassured that the one question God will never need to ask you is ‘what’s your name?’
1 Corinthians 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God
Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine”.
John 10:3 The sheep listen to the voice of the Shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out.
Listen to the song ‘He knows my name’ which is in our Mission Praise book at the Chapel but I don’t recall we’ve ever sung it. >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXsiWoyjw60&pbjreload=10
Marilyn & Lynne Ridge report that their son Christopher is recovering from what was thought to be the virus while Janine and the children are continuing to self-isolate for another 7 days but still fit and well.
Jean Cussons has reported she is still well and as far as she is aware all the other residents and staff at Greville House are OK too
MAKE YOU SMILE:
The minister had just had all his remaining teeth extracted and new dentures were being made.
The first Sunday he only preached for ten minutes.
The second Sunday he preached only twenty minutes.
But on the third Sunday he preached for one hour twenty-five minutes. When asked about this by some of the congregation, he responded:
The first Sunday my gums were so sore it hurt to talk.
The second Sunday my dentures were hurting a lot.
The third Sunday I was in a rush and accidentally grabbed my wife's dentures and found I couldn't stop talking!"
Enjoy the rest of today and remember how just a few weeks ago you would say to people, ‘are you doing anything special this weekend?’