The Importance of a name

August 2017 article for my Holy Humor column in Anniston/Gadsden Christian Family Magazine

Granny, Gram, Nana, Grandmother – I don’t care what my grandchildren call me, just as long as they DO call. At times, I have the fleeting thought that grandmothers have already outlived their usefulness for the family, but God quickly reminds me that as long as he keeps giving us breath for the day, he still has a purpose for us.

This was dramatically driven home recently through a conversation my niece had with her grandchildren. She is fortunate to get to live next to them and is an integral part of their lives.  She helps transporting them to school and their various activities, and they often spend the night with her. She took them out for dinner one night and told them she was taking a trip and would be gone for five days and five nights. Their down-turned mouths and teary eyes revealed their sadness. The eight-year-old said with a trembling voice, “But Nana, what will we do?  You are our Holy Spirit.” That was the best way she knew to express her feelings toward her grandmother.  I told my niece she had really better watch her  and because she really had big shoes to fill.

Her four-year-old sister viewed her Nana’s beauty in a different way. She saw her physical beauty. Nana was getting dressed to go to our family reunion when her daughter dropped off the girls so they could ride with her. My niece was just half dressed, just had her pants on.  The little one said, “Nana, I like what you are wearing. Why don’t you wear that to the party?” If she had, others might not have seen the holiness in her.

All grandparents have greater influence on their grandchildren than they realize. Often they see beauty and goodness that others don’t.  Grandchildren watch what we do, hear what we speak, and observe how we deal with the good, as well as the bad in life. Mine know that I’m their prayer warrior. From time to time, one of mine will ask me to pray for a special situation or need in his/her life, and I do.  I also pray daily for their spiritual walk. I feel free to talk to them about it too.  I remind them to put whatever they do through this filter – Will God be glorified through this action? I’m not sure how much they take my advice to heart, but I can rest assured they know their spiritual life is just as important to me, and more so, than earthly fame or success.

Names are important, especially names for God. My pastor has begun a series of messages about the names of God in the bible. Each name used for God is holy. It is most important that we reverence each one. Be careful how you use His name, for little ears hear. OMG, Lordy, Lordy, and other terms we hear so often today do not reflect His holiness; actually they are forms of cursing or using God’s name in vain.

You may not be someone’s Holy Spirit, but you may reflect the image of our Father to those grandchildren more than you realize. If you carry the name Christian, be careful not to discredit it by the way you live. Those are big shoes to fill also.

Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27 –  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

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