He remembered my name.
I first met Neil the previous week. As a shy sixteen year old, I ventured to the weekly high school gathering known as Young Life alone. I had heard enough chatter about it to pique my curiosity. In addition, I observed the engagement of the leaders with students on my campus at lunch time and extracurricular events. I wanted in.
It’s no coincidence that navigating my relationship with God around the same time. These leaders exuded something I had never seen: an unconditional love toward teens. Simply building relationships with them on their turf and in their terms.
I experienced a taste of it myself the first time I attended so I returned for the second week. I pushed through the intimidation of the 100 or so other students cramped into someone’s basement family room. As I walked in, his voice met me with a loud greeting, “Stephanie!”
He remembered my name. To remain unknown in a sea of teenagers can be a lonely experience. He remembered my name.
My life changed dramatically that day. I was reminded that I am known-to him and to God.
” Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands. “ Isaiah 49:16.
As a substitute teacher, I carry Neil’s words into the classroom. I try to remember the names of my students who I see repeatedly. Because we all need reminding, in a sea of social media images, that we are known.
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Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
Made me think of why I have so many dogs.
Will you stop to know me,
or will you pass on by?
I’ve much to give, though destiny
has fated me to die.
I do not know just what I did,
what could have brought me here
Perhaps the world is better rid
of me, than shedding tears.
But wait, I see you stopping;
is recognition in your eyes
for a new-old friend who’s hopping,
and so tired of goodbyes?
And now, at last, for me I’m known,
and now, at last, I have a home!
They are blessed to have you.
So true. The life changing power of being known, seen named and valued. Linked up close by at FMF
E. Adams Wright says
” I was reminded that I am known-to him and to God.” Such comfort to be reminded that I am known to God… and perfectly loved.
Katha von Dessien says
So true! As a teacher myself, I often discover the change in students when I call them by name. They can no longer hide, but they are now seen and accepted.