Saturday, May 9, 2015

Repost: Identity and Discovery

Every other week my blog will feature a reposted work. I had been a contributor on two different sites that have since closed or no longer include blogs. I will be reposting pieces that had originally been featured on one of these two sites.  

This was originally posted July 12, 2011

If you have been reading my posts, you know I care about language.  
Words matter.
Words mean things.  
It follows that names mean things and this is intriguing to me.  The Bible says one's TRUE name will be given when we meet Christ face to face (Rev. 2:17).  To discover and know oneself fully and to find peace in a name that fully encompasses one’s identity will be a wonderful thing.  I’d like to think that what we do on earth mirrors and foreshadows this in some small way. 

Isaiah's Book
The adoption process has given me an interesting perspective on this.  We named our first son before we met him.  From that point on, though we referred to him by the name the orphanage gave him with our agency and on official paperwork, we referred to him by the name his parents (us!) gave him with friends and family.  We knew who he was but they didn’t know, and he didn’t know.  
I put together a storybook for him about that aspect of his story and posted the pages on Facebook.  Here is a link.

As we begin the process to adopt our second son, we have already named him.  His name is Enoch.  His name is taken from the Enoch the genealogy in Genesis 5.  One of the only things said about Enoch in the bible is:

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”  

Candice and I want to raise a son who walks with God.  We want to raise a son who, after he is old, others note that he walked with God.  (Coincidentally, Enoch's father is named Jared.) 

My point here is that we are waiting to find Enoch.  We have faith that God has prepared us for him and him for us.  We are excited to finish our paperwork and get on the waiting list and then eventually see what he looks like.  We want to discover who Enoch is.  He is out there but we have to discover him. 

Recently we were told of a child in need of adoption.  Among the questions Candice and I were asking each other was, “is this little boy Enoch?”  We didn’t know if this boy was the boy we were looking for.  He wasn’t as old as we thought Enoch would be and he didn’t look like we thought Enoch would look.  But God knows who Enoch is and maybe we’d been wrong; maybe our expectations were mistaken.

After some prayer and consideration we concluded that we would not seek adoption of this child; this was not Enoch. 

Another family we know did pursue adoption of this child.  I found out later that the boy’s name is Oscar.  I am overjoyed beyond words that Oscar found his family.  I am overjoyed that his mommy and daddy are going to be able to discover what Oscar is like, what he looks like, how he acts; they’ll be able to watch him grow.  That little boy is Oscar, not Enoch.

In the sovereignty of God this makes sense; from God’s perspective this is clear.   
God knew that this boy was Oscar.  
The boy was not just a generic mass before his parents met him.  
He was a person loved and known by God.  
He was Oscar.  
God knew that his parents would find him and recognize him.  

God knew that his parents would give him his true name, and he knew that Candice and I were not his true parents.  Just as the orphanage gave Isaiah a name, though it was not his true name.  And to a greater degree, God knows our TRUE name and he will tell us when we meet him.

And I am excited and a little scared as I await that day. 

...To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

- Revelation 2:17

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