Everything old is new again

With some prompting from my son, Jason, I’ve decided to publish some of the things I’ve written across the years. This is the first of… I don’t know how many.


March 17, 1992

Cheryle Jones Cerezo

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Who cannot understand the magic of his or her own name? And how the speaking, or calling, of your name attracts your immediate attention – even if the name being called actually “belongs” to someone else? What parent in a crowded store hasn’t heard a plaintive “Mommy!” or “Daddy!” and responded in some way – a quick look around, a more attentive ear – even if your child is at home?

Our name is our most personal possession. Those who named us chose our name with care: perhaps a family name was chosen, or the name of a special friend or Godparent, or maybe your parents just liked it. No matter what the reasoning, no matter how much we may like or dislike our name, it had special meaning to the one or ones who bestowed it.

The bestowing of a name also creates a relationship between the named and that person. Ask any parent whose child has named a particular puppy or kitten in a litter. That’s the one you usually end up keeping. If you’re fortunate, only one was given a name!

My name is special – and somewhat different. My given name is Cheryle Ann. When people remark on the original spelling of my first name – and many do – I tell them that my mother did it to me; she put the “e” on the wrong name. Now that’s not entirely true. She put the “e” just where she wanted it, and depending on the circumstances, the sound of my mother calling my name was either the most comforting or the most feared sound in my life! She chose it for me. And no one has ever made it sound just exactly like she did, because she truly “called me by name.” I am hers.

Many of us have more common names. There are lots of Joes and Nancys and Jennifers and Jasons – a virtual plethora of Jasons, one of them belonging to me. Regardless, though, of how common or uncommon your name is, it has a different sound when it is spoken by the one who chose it.

So it is with God. He calls us by name, and in His voice our name is uniquely our own. We share it with no one else, as God speaks it. He speaks it with the love and longing He has for us, with the voice of the One Who knows us best and loves us anyway. When God calls our name, it may not even have the same number of syllables or the same sounds in it. He speaks to us in our spirit, where He resides, and the spiritual nature speaks and hears differently than the human nature. But we know it’s Him, and we know He’s speaking. When God calls us by name, He does so with all the knowledge of who we really are, and He says “Fear not.”

As Psalm 139:15 so beautifully says, “Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them.”

Who could know us more intimately than God? Who but He could speak our name so profoundly that each syllable, each inflection, calls the totality of our being to attentiveness?

Listen when God calls your name. Hear how special you are. Know that He calls the entirety of you to Him.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

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