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The meaning of a name

Updated on August 24, 2013

On my dresser sits a broken piece of siding torn from a house in the Joplin tornado. On it is written the name of a new mother who was killed, along with her baby. It is there to remind me to pray for her family this year as they deal with her death.


One name out of 162 who were killed, but it represents a person who loved, and is loved. A name singles us out from everyone else, it is ours alone. When we hear our name spoken, we respond.

I have several names that I go by, and I can tell something about the person speaking my name by which one they use. Mrs. Robertson - a student in school; Elizabeth - a doctor or insurance representative, or someone who doesn't know me well; Mom - well, this one is obvious; Sister Janie - someone from church; Jane - a friend, more than an acquaintance; Auntie Jane - a piano student; Janie - a family member or close friend, someone in the inner circle.

You see, our relationship with a person determines what we call them. One day, as I run into his open arms, Jesus is going to say to me, "Janie! You're here at last!"

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