I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call (Tommy Walker)

What would you say to someone who has just faced the most horrific experience of their lives?  How would you help them with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a home, or a deadly mass shooting?  This question has plagued me this week as I have encountered others in difficult circumstances.  This morning, as I awoke, I could hear these lines playing in my head, “He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees each tear that falls, And hears me when I call” (Tommy Walker).   I want to share my strength with you today.

Consider for a moment the fate of the shooter in the Parkland High School shooting in Florida, USA, Nikolas Cruz, as he faces 17 charges of murder.  Note that Nikolas’ love for weapons was encouraged by the training that he received as a former member of the Junior Army Reserve Officer Training Corps .  On the other hand, imagine the heroic actions of fellow students and Junior Army ROTC members, Colton Haab and Zackary Walls, who herded their fellow students to safety and shielded them with Kevlar mats from the ROTC equipment.

Who knows their names today?  What do their names say about them?  Would their names cause others to seek them out?  Would their names cause others to recommend them as a satisfying brand?

Names are important in all societies because they give identity to the bearer of the name.  According to Marketing Research consultant, Nicola Watts, “every time we hear a name, we make a number of assumptions about that person or company or brand.”  She underscores for us that a name serves as your public face. It tells customers who you are, what you do, and a little about how you do it (2016).

For example, her name Nicola, in the UK, is a girl’s name.  However, in many other countries in the world it is a boy’s name. She has caused confusion many times on arrival to an event and not been the person expected! She handles it gracefully and now finds it amusing.  But, the effects of name-signalling are not always pleasant surprise for others.

Watts (2016) cites research by the National Bureau of Economic Research where nearly 5,000 resumes were submitted in response to job ads in Boston and Chicago. “Some CVs were given a ‘white-sounding’ first name, others were given a ‘black-sounding’ name. CVs with a white-sounding name prompted 50% more callbacks from potential employers” (Nicola Watts, 2016).

William Shakespeare wrote the famous words, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  But is this true of your name?

No matter what people think about you or know about you, God knows your name.  And, He is calling your name today through the threads of love reaching out to you.  Psalm 139 reminds us that God knows us from the moment we were wonderful secrets in our mother’s wombs (Psalm 139:13).  The Psalmist David sang, “My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (NIV).  God knows your name very well, and He promises that He has great thoughts towards you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11).

Overcoming tragedy and deep sorrow is never easy, such as the ones experienced across the world, and especially in your neighborhood, this past week.  But God knows your name.  This is why I am sharing my strength with you today.  God has given me a name that writes healing, that writes hope.  My pen name writes triumph over adversities.

You can win.  Just believe that you can.  If you are a girl of any age and you know a girl that you want to help through tragedy, get Dear Little Sister, … on Lulu Press.  The information can also be useful for boys who love girls.  But, I will have one for the boys soon.  Dear Little Brother, … is just around the bend.

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