22 May 2010

I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George ...

A sloppily cobbled post on naming just because I feel like it.

So, a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but we’ll never know because it doesn’t matter. The English word “rose” has come to us through the etymological fires, and thus that certain combination of consonants and vowels will forever conjure that particular flower and its attributes. Frindle the plant to your heart’s content, and still “rose” means “rose.” Words are a comfortingly stable matter in the troubling ink of our anti-matter times, and mostly oblivious to attempts to deconstruct them. Words mean what they mean, and they mean it endlessly. This is really good news.

Given the preponderant significance of even the smallest of words, it is a serious thing that God has privileged Man with the naming of children. Adam received from God authority over all God gave him to name, for to name something is to wrap it in a single, declarative shell; to define its use; to brand it as your own. When man fell, he remarkably retained the privilege of naming; authority bestowed upon created things by our gracious God is not authority soon lost. The queen procured for Adam out of his own royal flesh was defined by her lord after the fall, and the blessing her name held stuck. "Eve" she was called, and "Eve" she remains.

Behold! Even we of the plebeian generations are yet authorized to name our children. And, whoopee! Naming babies is on the top ten of Great Things About Having Kids. I have a mental folder bursting with combinations of names that I hope to use someday: a little Grandpa mixed with a little patriarch mixed with a little venerated saint and—POOF!—a little description of a new little person. Ha, ha! The delicious sensation of power! :D

There was a time when I thought our name selections were so clever, but I’ve since noticed that we’re not at all unique. EVERYONE is going the way of grandpa and the patriarchs, and everyone else is going the other way, still very much together. (HT on the link: Cranach) But, so what? The more Marys we have the better. At the end of the day, I am ever humbled and amazed that my children, these remarkable people placed into my hands, respond to and are defined by the simple words my husband and I were entitled to place upon them when they were born.

And, of course, no naming post would be complete without a Baptism reference
. Incredibly, for the sake of Christ, God so loves His elect that He bestows upon them His One True Name, thus wrapping them in a single, declarative shell, defining their use, branding them as his own. Eyes to the skies, friends, even while daydreaming up names for what babies may yet come. Names mean something, and they mean it endlessly. This is really good news.

9 comments:

Cheryl said...

"the troubling ink of our anti-matter times"

My, but you do have a way with words, Gauntlets.

(Of course, that seems to be a prerequisite for writing for the CSPP blog . . . among other things. ☺ )

Untamed Shrew said...

I've always liked the name George. And recently I've noticed the names that were very common not long ago, but are never used anymore: Linda, Nancy, Janet and Beverly to name a few. The article provided good food for thought while I gestate.

Liz said...

Can he call you Lenny?

Rebekah said...

>>The more Marys we have the better.

Hear hear. I like it when our kids share names with brothers and sisters in Christ.

I remember hearing once that if a child's intended name is unknown, the pastor should baptize it John or Mary.

And for my last random thought: strange but true that one strategy I have for warding off evil thoughts is to engage my mind in the happy work of thinking of baby names.

Anonymous said...

Steinbeck! Of Mice and Men ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Mice_and_Men

Thank you, now I feel smart and everything. Well, not vastly smart, just (I'll admit) half-vastly smart. Excuse the pun. The post title bugged me so long, I finally googled it. But, since after all I had read the book, I felt all smart and... sorry to repeat myself.

Melrose said...

Ever since the birth of my 3rd son I have busied myself thinking of names for twin girls. I have succeeded in bringing my husband into this fun fantasy and now that they are named, have begun to pray for them....then I realized they don't exist. yet. :)

Do you guys have a post for what MUST be mental illness...I mean who PRAYS for what inevitably brings 9 months of pain, followed by the agony of delivery...followed by 18+ years of more labor?

Gauntlets said...

Cheryl: You're really way too nice to me. :)

Liz: Yes. But if he calls me Betty I will call him Al. :D

Rebekah: I do that, too. The daydreaming to ward off the crazy. Why live in the now?

Anon: Looney Tunes, actually. :D But they made the joke at Steinbeck's expense, it's all the same in the end. ;)

Melrose: I have been thinking about a post along those lines. Get out of my head.

Melrose said...

Gauntlets, you know, you've said that to me on more than one occasion...i mean, that's like 15 posts you owe me now. ...guess we'll just have to finally finalize those plans and you can just give it all to me in person!

Marie said...

"...and still “rose” means “rose.”"

Unless your daughter's name is Rose. And then "rose" means "Rose"=)

(She was named on Easter -you know- the resurrection!)

Sorry. Couldn't help it.