Who Are You?

I had a professor once who pronounced my last name differently when calling role each class period. I
corrected him the first three or four times, but when it was obvious my corrections weren’t sticking, I gave up
and just said “here” to whatever butchering of my name he did that day. As you can imagine, I never felt
particularly “known” by that professor. When someone doesn’t know your name, they don’t know you.

On the other hand, we have a tendency to give nicknames to those who are closest to us. Jackie and I
both have special nicknames for each of our kids. If I call a kid the wrong actual name (like calling Joshua by
Zayne’s name, for example), I might get corrected, but it’s no big deal. If I use the wrong special nickname,
though, you’d think the world was ending. Those nicknames speak of the special connection between us, and
calling the wrong kid the wrong nickname makes them feel like the specialness of the relationship is under
There’s an interesting verse in the book of Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white
stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it,” Rev. 2:17. Scholars debate what this
verse means. Some think it’s the name of Jesus, or some special variation of that name. I tend to think it’s more
like God has that special nickname for us. Something that’s just between Him and us, and encompasses his
relationship with us. I believe on that day we will hear Him speak our name. And we will be fully known just as
we fully know Him (1 Cor. 13:12).