No Name. The Question of love, part 9

Two Kenyan children

"Hey you, come here!"

"Why should I?"

"Because I want you to."

"You don't even know my name! Why should I even care?"

The life of a teacher isn't always that easy. How is this poor person supposed to remember the names of all the students at his/her school? I know one teacher who found the solution to this problem. He gave nicknames to all of his students. For some reason he could remember these nicknames better than the children's real names!

But can you imagine being born without a name? Everyone around you would have no choice but to call you "Hey you!" Not very personal! In such circumstances I would prefer to have a nickname. Hopefully it would be a flattering one!

A friend of mine met someone one day who did not have a first name for the first five years of his life.

How could that be?

To the horror of my friend, he would discover that many new babies in Kenya do not receive a given name until they are 5 years old. The reason? The infant mortality rate is so high that some parents feel it is too painful to give something as personal as a name to a child during the first five years of his or her life! "Hey you!" May be quite common in Kenya!

God, however, knows us intimately, in and out, from the very beginning of our existence. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart . . ." (Jeremiah 1:5a, NIV2)

Unlike many children under five in Kenya, the man my friend met survived, thanks to the intervention of a Christian charitable organization. He was the first sponsored child in Kenya!

We Christians have the responsibility to bring hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless, victory to the defeated, and purpose to those who are lost. Love changes everything. Ask those nameless children who receive a name in the name of the Lord!

We love because we focus our whole attention on the source of such love: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7, NIV2)

"Hey you! What will you do to bring meaning in this world?"

Rob Chaffart

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