When my mom was pregnant with me, my paternal grandmother suggested that my parents name me “Chika,” a shortened version of the name "Chikaodinaka," which in Igbo means "It is in God’s hands."
My name is the perfect fit for me.
I was a micro-preemie and could literally be held in one hand. I’ve experienced a few near-death experiences that have reminded me that my life is in God’s hands. And I’m a single woman who daily puts her vocation in God’s hands. Whether in Spanish—“small” or “girl”—Tagalog—“chatter” or “gossip”—Japanese—too many translations to list—my name has helped shape the life I live.
The God of All Creation holds each of us in His hands and calls us by name. He formed us, knit together every detail, gave us a name and a purpose, and has never left our side. It can be intimidating to be known so intimately that nothing is hidden; and at the same it can be incredibly liberating to be known so well that we can live courageously in the confidence that we are known and loved.
What is the name that God calls you? Is it “Daughter” (Luke 8:48)? “My Delight” (Isaiah 62:4)? “Beautiful” (Luke 4:7)? “Friend” (John 15:13)? Or “Talitha” (Mark 5:41)?
On this Feast of John (“God is Gracious / God has Shown Favor”) the Baptist, let us ask the Lord for the grace to respond quickly and faithfully when He calls us by name.