What’s in a NAME? To most us… our name is our reputation. It’s the “most important” thing to us… probably…in all of the world. If anyone were to throw our name about in a despairing way…it would be most offensive. Several years ago, my bride, and many friends, attended a funeral of a long-time mutual friend, who had suffered for years from a number of illnesses.
The Church was absolutely packed. She surely had used “her name” wisely…it would appear. Several of her family members spoke of her in the most glowing of terms. I knew that she was very well thought of, but the way everyone was talking about her…the woman…well, she must have walked on water. Soon the Minister got up and began to deliver the eulogy. Again, many words of love, respect, and …near worship.
I was absorbed in listening, when the Minister suddenly said something to the effect, that if it weren’t for all of “the crooks” in this town (a small town in the south) this “very Church would have never been erected.” He went on to say how important the “crooks” were and they were loved by all. I couldn’t believe the way he was talking…. talk about despairing…. even I was offended.
I began to think…um… this must have been like a Robin Hood thing…taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Frankly, I was appalled. I didn’t dare look around; but I do remember… leaning over to my bride….saying; “can you believe what you’re earing.” After the Service was concluded, everyone went outside to the grave site for final internment. We all crowded around the grave site, and I began looking around, and there must have been, at least, 30 or 40 grave stones…ALL…with the name CROOK engraved on them.
What? This women’s maiden name was CROOK. Now it all made sense. I was in a Church, and a town, that was built by a bunch of CROOKS, whose last name…. was CROOKS. And, they were all charitable, faithful, and loyal friends of the Church and the Community. To them, their name was the most important thing in the world.
Isaiah 48:9 – For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16 – “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Listen to that…. “Engraved,” which means that it’s there forever. Your name is on God’s very hand. He calls us by name. You remember… seeing your name on your school diploma, or maybe a CPA certificate, or the cornerstone of a football stadium, or just…. an honorable mention, back on page 10 of the evening news (but they don’t have that anymore). It probably gave you a “good feeling” of achievement, success, and acceptance.
All of us…have our name written on palm of God’s hand. So, it makes…. “no difference,” then, if we’re a Crook, a Brooks, or a Rockefeller….we’re all the same in the eyes of God.