Actually, imagine seeing her side a bit more - she's very trim, and a bit longer than this picture captures.
Got that name in mind yet?
Okay, this little chihuahua's name is...Twinkie. And, she looks pretty much exactly like a walking Twinkie. Years ago, a friend gave me a toy "Twinkie holder" and I'm pretty sure it would fit right around her. In addition to her apt name, she is a very nice little dog.
Maybe you were like me and were somewhat fascinated by names and their meaning. For instance, when I learned that the definition of "Lynne" was "dweller at or near a pool," I felt this was magically accurate, loving the beach as I do, and perfectly happy near (or in) a pool. Bring on the dwelling!
Not every name is accurate. Not every word we use to describe others is kind. One of the first things we have to tell young children is "don't call each other names." The words we call ourselves can be just as unkind. "Loser." "Failure." "Not enough."
What if you knew, for a fact, that you are actually Loved, Valued, Enough? Don't believe me? Would you believe the One who left a Perfect Place to spend time walking around in a limiting human body, living among deeply flawed humans, for the sole purpose of telling them, and us, that they are in fact, all of those names?
Jesus showed up here, and put the world on its head. He came to set the captives free. And if you think you are not a captive, you may want to look at those things that keep you from living the way you know you can. There is freedom, and there it is, for you to accept. Knowing you are free, you embrace the place Jesus made for you, and then you know you are Cherished, Forgiven, a Son or Daughter, and a Friend with the truest God who lowers Himself to whisper the words of life to you.
It's hard for me to wrap my mind around an infinite, unseen Being. But I've tested my doubt many times, and He doesn't disappoint. My suspicions of His Nature do not lessen His love for me. The big one I wrestle with, and maybe you do too, is how can God care about the whole world, and still care about the minor (and major) issues in my life? Often I am reminded that if I could harness God and His ways, then He wouldn't be much of a God to worship. Some things, many in fact, I can understand. But in other, sometimes more troubling, issues, I can't quite figure it out. And I'm grateful that I have to wonder. I'm glad this life is not full of Solved Mysteries. Yet I cling to His Love, even when I am confounded by His Ways.
Twinkie shows amazing loyalty for her owners. She tolerates me, but she knows real love and provision is with her people. I tend to get it backwards. My loyalty is put to the test by the many temptations around me, forgetting the One who provides a deeper sense of satisfaction. It may not be the green eyed stranger across the room with the lusty look. It may more likely be that chocolate peanut butter dip with the come hither chocolate sauce on top I saw so many of you posting about. Appetites can be indulged on occasion, but they may leave us empty (or with diabetes).
"God Loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love."
St. Augustine said that. I like it. It helps when I'm feeling annoyed that life is difficult. And it seems I call Life many names, even if I refrain from calling the people around me some of those same names (but it's oh so tempting). If I remember that each of us is made in God's own image, then I remember that each of us flawed humans are equally loved and valuable, even when I suspect it is untrue.
My name may reflect part of my nature, but not all of it. And let's face it, like a pool, it's on the shallow side. I'm not sure how Twinkie would feel about her name if she understood the definition of it. Maybe you love your name or hate it. Either way, being called Beloved is something more valuable than any name or status.