Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's In a Name?

I'm thinking about our David Elliot today.

First, it's Wednesday. Wednesday is "David's day." The day I pray for him specially. Not that I can't or don't pray for him or think about him on other days, but I started a few years ago designating days for each of my kids. It just helps me focus.

Secondly, today, January 8, has been on the calendar as the day we were going to hang with David in Springfield before he heads back to college. Lou, David, and I went shopping and out to eat. I've been looking forward to it and I loved our time together. I kind of like him.

And thirdly, Lou, reading Solid Joys this morning, says, "Jim Elliot was killed on this day in 1956."

Hearing Jim Elliot's name reminds me of David.

It takes me back to 1993 when Lou and I talked a lot about what to name the next child who was due in August.

Naming your child is a big deal.

From the moment you know a soul is growing inside you, you start the name game, bouncing syllables around like basketballs.

It's so much fun and a little bit terrifying. You know their moniker is more permanent than a tattoo!

My Lou and I had boy and girl names for children 1 and 2 even before we were pregnant with our first. So when we were expecting our 3rd, we had to do a little more thinking.

Since we never found out what we were having, we had to come up with a boy's and a girl's name. I honestly can't even remember what girl name we had in our pocket, which surprises me. How do you forget that? Anyway, the more we thought about manly boy names, we kept circling back to "David."

We were thinking about King David of the Bible, described as a "man after God's own heart." If we had a boy, we wanted him to be described as that kind of man. And we were thinking about our friend, David Falling, who was a mentor to Lou during medical school, residency, and after. He stood up with Lou when we were married.  (I'm so bummed right now that I can't put my finger on this great picture I have of the two Davids together!) We wanted our boy to be like David Falling.

David. Yes, David.

Now what to go with that good, strong name?

A spiritual mentor to me, although I didn't know her personally, was/is Elisabeth Elliot. Right out of college, I heard a talk by her that challenged me like few talks have. I've listened to The Path of Endurance many times since then and read most everything she has written. She has helped me love God more.

It was in The Path of Endurance talk where I first learned about her husband, Jim Elliot, who was killed along with 4 others 58 years ago today, January 8, as they attempted to meet and take the gospel to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Her book, Through Gates of Splendor chronicles this story. It was in that book that I got to know Jim Elliot - a good man, a Godly man.

A man who is best known for the following quote:

We wanted our son to be a man who loved God like Jim Elliot. A man who was willing to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Does Elliot go with David?


David Elliot Harris.

Yep, we liked it. We still like it. And we like that boy-now-man a lot.

We love him.

Thanking God for him today, January 8, and praying he continues to grow into a man who lives up to his name.

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