What’s in a name?

I told you that last week I got to hold a brand new baby. She is beautiful and perfect.

A couple years ago I had a job where I got to photo new babies at the hospital. I was often asked if I had ever seen an ugly baby. I can honestly say that I haven’t. To me every baby is a beautiful miracle. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t say a miracle is ugly. Until they develop a personality, there is nothing about a person that can be anything less than beautiful.

The other question I got a lot was about names. Either the parents asking my opinion of a name, asking me to help with the spelling of the name, or someone asking me the most unusual name I had heard. And boy did I hear some different ones! When a strange name would come up, I would always ask myself:

What kind of life is being determined for that child, just because of the name they are given?

This issue came up again last week when my friend was trying to name her daughter. What a big decision. What will this child be called for the rest of her life? With every name mentioned, we had to think about what rhymed with it, what it sounded like, what her initials would be. Would she sound like a nice person? Someone you could trust? Could she live up to her name? What would people think when they heard her name, before they had even met her?

We tend to judge people that way. We decide so much about them based on how they look, where they live, what religion they practice, or what their name is. We forget that we need to learn who they are. We need to learn their story. We need to see them the way God sees them.

Dear God,
Tonight I simply ask that you help me see people for who they are. Help me to open myself up to appreciate each person I meet for the gifts they have. Help me to love them the way that you love them.

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