For a good part of my growing up years, my family didn’t live close to our extended family. We would make hour-long, 3-hour-long, and 13-hour-long trips to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of the family at least a couple of times a year (more when we lived closer, of course), but we weren’t around our relatives all that often.
Because of this, it was always funny and odd when my mom would call me “Ruth,” meaning her sister. I expected the cliché of our parents trying to call out to one of us and going through all our other siblings’ names first, but Mom calling me by HER sister’s name was always more entertaining and somehow cooler.
I thought it was just a quirky thing with her, where I resembled my aunt just enough to make Mom think of Ruth.
Until I started doing the exact same thing with my boys… However, instead of calling my children by my siblings’ names, I’m calling my sibling by my child’s name, calling my brother Caleb, “Elijah.”
They don’t look alike at all, and their personalities aren’t really similar. Nevertheless, I’ll be either talking to my brother or mentioning him, and out comes “Elijah.” And I just laugh.
It’s so weird. It’s happened several different times, and it’s always him and always Elijah.
Maybe I’m just used to having to say, “Elijah,” all the time. I probably say his name more than any other all day long. (When it’s just Josiah with me during the day, I don’t really have to say Josiah’s name unless he’s in trouble. Haha.)
Or maybe it’s because Caleb is my younger brother, and I always tried to help take care of him. Maybe the protective tenderness of a big sister translates well into mothering, and that makes me think of Elijah.
I know for my mom it makes more sense because I, at least, resemble her sister a little bit. Something about Elijah reminds me of Caleb (or vice versa). But no matter why we do it, we both do it.
When I did it the other day – again! – I had a funny thought: I wondered if God ever does this with His children.
(Okay, yes, He is God and perfect, so, no, He won’t REALLY make a mistake. It is just a playful thought. Humor me and go with it!)
According to Galatians 3:26 & 27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Does God ever look at me and see so much of Jesus’s character in me that He has to pause and make sure He says the right name?
Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch because, like I said, God’s not going to make THAT mistake. I may be “clothed with Christ,” but He still knows it’s me, Kishona, and not Christ. He knows my name, (Isaiah 43:1) knows the number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30), and He’s known since before I was born (Psalm 139:13-16). God always gets my name right.
But still – becoming so much like Jesus that even God does a double take – it’s a good goal to aim for. 😉