Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Becoming Your True You - Names Matter

Hi Friends,

A good friend (thank you, Joanne!) requested that I post this excerpt from WAITING FOR WONDER, Learning to Live on God's Timeline


You Are Not Moe
            Names matter. Knowing who we truly are matters. I was reminded of this truth not long ago on a Friday night at our local women’s homeless shelter. My daughters and I had gone with a small group of women from our church to play and make crafts with the kids at the shelter, just as we did every month. I was in charge of name tags. I love being in charge of name tags.
            I slapped down a dozen blank tags in front of the kids at the shelter.  “All right, everyone, step right up and tell me your name.” My daughter handed me a purple pen. I motioned to a boy of about eight.
            He hesitated, then came forward. “I’m John.”
            I wrote his name, added a smiley face, and placed the sticker carefully on his shirt.
            Next came Juanita, Miguel, Michael, and Ashley.
            Behind them stood a little girl with big brown eyes and two short pigtails. She stuck her fingers in her mouth.
            “What’s your name, princess?”
            She looked at her toes. She shuffled her feet. She wiped her wet hands on her blouse.
            “You know, if you don’t want to tell me, I can always call you Moe.”
            Her gaze shot up.
            “I call everyone Moe if I don’t know their name.”
            Miguel giggled. “I wouldn’t want to be Moe.”
            Juanita wrinkled her nose. “Me, neither.”
            Ashley checked her name tag and made sure it was stuck tight. “My name is Ashley.”
            They stuck out their chests and pointed to their nametags.
            The little girl tried on a tiny smile. “I’m not Moe.”
            “I didn’t think so.”
            “I’m Victoria.”
            “Ah, Victoria. A much better name than Moe for such a nice little girl.” I wrote it on the tag, drew three hearts, and placed the tag on her shirt.
            She grinned, then poked a soggy finger at my sticker-less shirt. “What’s your name?”
            I fake-gasped. “Oh no!”
            All the kids laughed. “You’re Moe!”
            I chuckled and quickly wrote my name on a tag and stuck it on my shirt. “There, that’s much better.”
            After that, with everyone properly named, we all had a great time making bead necklaces, playing with play dough and plastic dinosaurs, and building little relationships right there under the fluorescent lights and in a place no one called home.
            Real relationships require someone who knows who you really are. They require your true name.
Nobody wants to be Moe. We know who we really are only when God calls us by name. We find our true names, our true selves in walking intimately with him.
In Isaiah 43:1, God says, “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” And John 10:3 says of Jesus, “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
            God knows my name. Jesus calls me specifically and leads me. He calls me to walk whole-heartedly with the God who is enough.
            To God, I am not Moe. I am Beloved. I am Daughter. I am Redeemed. I am Precious. He writes my name not on a paper sticker, but on my heart. So, just like Victoria, I don’t need to suck on my fingers and stare at my feet. Instead, I should wear my “name tag” confidently, knowing that only in him will I find who I really am.

            Because I am known by him.