/ Name / Vanessa Le

Only One Knows My Name

The following fictional story is based on an anecdote from a friend.

She could not remember her name. That bothered her sometimes. She knew that she had been named, that she had been loved. She remembered the caresses of her mother, the murmuring of her voice. Yet that had not lasted long. In only a few months, it became apparent that she would never return her mother’s words of love. Her mother had cried a lot. Her parents called her Mistake, Handicapped, Too Much Work. Slowly her mother’s love faded with the growing discouragement and hardship. She had been dropped off at the Home for Disabled Children, with promises of visits. However, her mother never looked back. As she watched her parents’ van drive away, she knew that she was no longer loved. That bothered her sometimes.

She tried to adjust to the strange new world of the Children’s Home. However, with no way to communicate and with no one to love her, she gradually withdrew into a world of distrust. She became violent and angry. When the workers accidentally hurt her she would lash out as best she could – fighting and kicking and biting. She could make one sound - screeching. It made people afraid of her, so she did it loudly and often.  During this time she was called many names – Angry, Beast, Not to Be Trusted. But she still could not remember her name, and it still bothered her sometimes. Her name was forever gone.

She grew up as much as she could. Her body grew but her mind was forever stunted. She could not walk, could not talk, could not dress or feed herself, could not remember her name. She could no longer stay in the Children’s Home because she was no longer a child. She thought she might get to see her parents – and she did. However, they looked at her with distant gazes, as though she were a specimen to be analyzed. They took her to an Adult Home, one with special security protocols to help contain her violent outbursts. Her parents did not talk to her, did not say good-bye, did not call her by her name.

One day a middle-aged lady named Sharon came to the home. Sharon seemed different from all the rest. Sharon came right up to her and said, “Hello, what’s your name?” In reply, she just screeched. That usually scared people away. However, Sharon smiled and said, “Nice to meet you.” Then Sharon sat down and started reading aloud. At first, not wanting to hear, she screeched the entire time. However, Sharon was not discouraged. “I will come again.” And Sharon came – again and again and again. Each time, Sharon read to her from a big book. Gradually, she stopped screeching and started to listen. She heard for the first time about a Man called Jesus, one who healed the sick, who cared for the lonely and the outcast. The stories from the book were fascinating. This Jesus suffered when He had done no wrong. He died so that others might live. He paid the penalty of their sins. And, amazingly, He did all this out of love. She had never known this kind of love. One day Sharon looked at her and asked, “Do you believe this?” She could not answer Sharon out loud, but she knew. She had no good deeds of her own; nor could she do any. And so she believed with her whole heart in Jesus, the One who died and rose again, the One who lived a perfect life on her behalf.

Life was different after that.  She couldn’t understand everything about Jesus, but she knew that He was her friend, and that He was with her, helping her to live a new life. She stopped screeching. The violent outbursts became a thing of the past. She was content and quiet. But one thing was lacking: she still could not remember her name. And it still bothered her sometimes.  Since Jesus was God and man, would He know her name? If her name was in the Book of Life, would Jesus know, and would she know, that it was truly her? Or would she be mistaken for some other person, since she could not say, “Yes, that is me?” Then one day, Sharon read this from the Book: “And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17b)  At the words “a new name”, she suddenly understood. She couldn’t remember her name, but it no longer mattered, because she had a new name. She was a child of the one true King. She was Loved. She belonged to the One who had written her name in His book from eternity Past.

She could not remember her name, but it no longer bothered her. The only One who truly mattered had remembered her.

Vanessa Le

Vanessa Le

Vanessa is a wife and mother to six children age nine and under. When not changing diapers or kissing boo-boos, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, studying theology, and generally being Mommy.

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