What’s Your Name?

Seriously. What is your name…to you? You were given a name that, at least, somebody liked or, at best, was significant to the family. We had trouble naming our twin boys. Why? Because we thought we were having a boy and a girl! Ultrasound images in the 80’s weren’t as precise as they are today…and one child kept hiding behind the other. Anyway, we had names chosen – Robert Straughn & Leah Marie – after me and my grandfather and Jonesy’s middle name. (We just liked “Leah.”) So, after the pronouncement “It’s another boy!” we just looked at each other. Back to the drawing board – for names.

We thought about James and John. That is until we remembered that the Bible refers to them as the “sons of thunder” and quickly punted on that idea. After three days one of the nurses came to us (Jonesy was still in the hospital) and said that we HAVE to name these babies. They were tired of calling them “Baby A” and “Baby B.”
Plus, there’s that whole birth certificate thing. So, we nailed down names for these wonderful blessings. (Jonesy says I went out for breakfast and came back with the names and that she had little to do with it. However, she was on pain meds at the time so…)

The first born would get my name. (He also gets my debts when I die. I don’t think he knows that.) He got the first name “John” because there were several men with that name who greatly influence my life spiritually. “John Robert” seemed to be just right. (JR…just right…get it??) I would have hyphenated it but it would have caused confusion later at the DMV so I let that go.

Randal Bryant was named...after Coach “Bear” Bryant and my brother, Randy. The motive here was less than pure. Randy is a big-time a BAMA fan. I figured that if anything ever happened to me he would feel compelled to take care of at least one of my children. (“I mean, come on…he’s named after you…where’s that college money??”) Also, I thought the name combination would help Bryant grow more patient. (“My name is Randal with one ‘L’ Bryant with a ‘T’ Davis.”)

The kicker in all this is the way they are connected. You see, I so admired one mentor that I wanted my boys to reflect him. John Roger Breland took a chance on me, a guy who struggled to read music, and gave me the privilege to serve as a singer with TRUTH. (Under 50 crowd…Wiki it!) It was the most spiritually profound two years of my life. My leader signed many things with just his initials “JRB.” So, I devised a way to honor him. My boys would be known as “John Robert and Bryant” – JRB. They would carry a special meaning throughout life not only by being connected as twins but also by the initials of their names. It’s funny that now family calls them by their initials – JR, B.

Here’s the hook. I wonder if they ever think about why they were given these names. Does it occur how special these names really are? Names are given many times as a legacy reminder. Do they ever stop and remind themselves – or each other – of the significance and spiritual history that is theirs. Throw in the fact that they are miracle children and the richness is almost staggering.

But…do we remember our names? You know, the ones God gave to us? “Lamb” – “Child” – “Precious” The last one is my favorite. The Bible says in Isaiah 43:4 that I am PRECIOUS in His sight. Wow! When you know your name…and remember it…there is power, direction, confidence, and comfort. We must remember our name!! It reveals a lot about the one who named us. So, when I call one of you FBCHers “Precious” I’m just reminding you of who you really are. So, feel free to get some monogrammed bath towels with the giant letter “P” on them. Because after all, it is your real name.

Your naming the Name pastor,

Robert Edward Davis, Junior

P.S – By the way … “John Robert” means “God is gracious/Bright fame.” “Randal Bryant” means “Shield/Strong and honorable.” Hmm…hope they are living up to their namin’!