What’s in a Name?

Summer break means different things to different people.

For some, it is about swimming, barbeques and vacations.

For me growing up, it meant staying up late watching old movies with Mom.

Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Cary Grant became familiar faces to me, as much as any of the modern day ones, in my Tiger Beat or 16 Magazines.  

Send Me No Flowers and An Affair to Remember are still on my watch list.

Camping out on the couches in our family room, curled up in front of the console TV is one of my favorite childhood memories.

So you can only imagine the excitement I felt when my own children wanted to camp out in our family room.

The scene is slightly different, with a flat screen TV, sectional and bean bags sprawled across the floor.

But I could picture Mom’s face smiling as if she were still sitting next to me.

On one particular summer evening, after the boys have fallen asleep, I switched the channel to TCM to find one of my all time favorites, Blossoms in the Dust.

Based on the life of Edna Gladney, this 1941 film starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon tells the story of this child and adoption activist.

The opening scenes highlight Edna and another young woman, raised as her sister, at a phase in life where each is about to marry.  It was discovered by one of the future mothers in law that the character about to marry her son is a “nameless foundling,” The word “illegitimate” is written on her birth certificate.  At the time, this was considered scandalous and meant that a child with this distinction had no inheritance rights. No birth right. The mountain of shame this brings prompts the character to take her life, as she sees no hope for her future.

Edna Gladney is not only known for her life’s work for placing over 2000 orphans into good homes, but also for her perseverance in having Texas legislators remove the word “illegitimate” from the birth certificates of children born out of wedlock.

Watching this movie still brings tears to my eyes , but now stirs up a different message in my heart as an adult.

How many around us today feel hopeless because of a label attached to our lives?

What shame and brokenness makes us feel as if we are not worthy or have legitimacy in this life?

This classic movie, over 70 years old, still carries a timeless message.

The Bible, over 2000 years old, carries a message of hope and love for all of God’s children.

None of us are nameless.

We have been given a name by the great I AM.

We are HIS.

We have an inheritance.  

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…” Ephesians 1:11

”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by God’s power are guarded through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1: 3-5

We have a birthright.  We are heirs.

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”  Galatians 3:29

We come from a royal lineage.

Brothers and sisters, remember that you have a name.

Remember that you have an inheritance.

Remember that you are HIS.

And friends, remember to share that message of love with those around you

Give hope to a broken world.

Hope has a name.