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February is the shortest month of the year, but because of it being in the middle of winter, it tends to be dark and moody. We ache for someone, something to call our name and jar us out of the gloominess. Sometimes I need to be called out of my dreariness and startled into the promise of tomorrow. Can someone please call my name?

A name is a label that categorizes. It personifies family of origin, country, and culture. It is usually given at birth or a bit later when chances of survival are surer. Sometimes in childhood, characteristics are recognized by the name givers and these characteristics illicit terms of endearment resulting in nicknames.

We take for granted our names and being called by our name. We like being recognized. It’s a form of validation.

When does your name being used mean the most to you? Is it with a hug accompanied by affectionate murmurs? Is it when your mother uses all three of your names, emphasizing each one in an admonishment? Is it when you’re sick and being cared for by someone pleading for your recovery, repeating your name over and over again like a mantra? Is it in the depths of grief and you hear a consoling voice whispering your name like a salve on an open wound? In all these instances, our name being called comforts us because we are assured of being recognized for who we are and being cared for.

I remember a horrible time in my life after adultery and during the subsequent months of divorce when I was desperately sad and craved to be consoled. I rested in the love I found in God’s word. I knew without a doubt who I was and that I was called out by my name. I  related to Mary in the Garden of Gethsemane. She was so blinded by her grief that only hearing her name called by Jesus was able to break through her anguish. Rest assured that our Father calls us by name during our darkest times.  We can look up through our tears and confusion and see who is calling us and hear the words being spoken to us, words of validation, recognition, consolation, and hope.

Do you hear your name being called? Do you recognize the caller?

Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.

Isaiah 43: 1-2