Who Knows My Name?

“Can you hear me now?”

I’d walked away from the pine trees that stood like sentinels in my yard, and found an open space with a stronger cell phone signal.

Sometimes I forget the olden days when my phone conversations happened indoors. My freedom went no further than the length of my phone cord.

Now, my phone has a camera. I can take a Selfie and send it to the world. “Look everyone! Can you see me now?”


Why all the Selfies? Are we in love with ourselves? Or want to be known?

When preteens were asked what they’d like to be when they grow up, the majority of them said they want to be famous.

Their response mirrors our celebrity culture and reality television shows. Children don’t care about being a policeman, teacher or leaving a legacy like Mother Theresa. They want name recognition. Ever heard of the Kardashians?

Social media has made being famous—or infamous—possible. Overnight, a name can go viral. Even fleeting fame makes us feel like we’re Somebody.

Does fame validate our self worth? I don’t need fame, but I get tired of feeling…

Invisible. Ignored. Forgettable.

Why does Self want to be noticed? Is it pride? Or a deep longing to be known and loved for who we are?

Do you know that God knows your name and loves you?

I recently talked to a women’s group about a poor pregnant Egyptian maid. (Genesis 16) The Lord found her wandering in the wilderness by a spring of water and called her by name, “Hagar.”

Can you imagine Adonai—the sovereign Lord—calling you by name?

Hagar was nobody. She also wasn’t perfect.

“When she saw that she’d conceived a child by Abram, she despised her mistress, Sarai.” Then Hagar suffered the consequences. Sarai treated her harshly so she ran away.

Thankfully, Hagar didn’t have to be perfect for God to step into her life and call her by name. He said, “I’ve heard your affliction.” Then He promised to multiply her descendants through her son Ishmael.

Hagar recognized who was speaking to her, and said, “Thou are a God who sees.”

El Roi—the Living God Who Sees—knows our mistakes, weaknesses, fears, struggles, thoughts and intentions.

God knows everything. And He still loves us and calls each of us by name.

Do you know the Name of Jesus which is above every name?

Do You Touch and Go?

I hadn’t seen the woman’s blog post in months. I clicked on her gravatar. Searched for her website. And discovered it had been deactivated. Did she get tired of blogging or did something happen?

Weeks later, she liked a post. I searched again and found her email address. “Miss your blogs,” I wrote. “Hope you’re well.”

The woman immediately responded, and we had a heart-to-heart talk via email. There was no need to break the ice. We’d been reading each other’s blogs…which had become windows into our lives and souls…for several years.

Social media doesn’t have to be a one-way street—people stalking one another.  Hitting like…or not.

It can be the means to celebrate people’s victories. Mourn their losses with them. Pray for them.

Not everyone is convinced. I have a friend who chooses one-on-one quality time rather than “touch and go relationships.” I understand. I love looking in someone’s eyes rather than a computer screen. Holding hands to pray.


However, despite the cons, social media has enlarged my heart to an ever-growing circle of friends. I’ve …

Found long lost friends.
Corresponded more often than an annual Christmas card.
Developed new friendships online that I’ve met through mutual friends.
Kept in touch with students’ lives.
Seen the world through the eyes of people from other countries.
Been inspired by folks across the globe who also love Jesus.

Regardless of age, gender, or culture, they’re just like me. Learning how to navigate this maze called life.

Some days, their posts provide the only good news that I hear.

For we’re inundated with round the clock news which points out everything wrong with this world. Highlights evil. Warns us of disease and terror.


What if we used social media to encourage one another instead of tongue lashing the world?

What if we used it as a means to understand one another and reach out instead of circling our wagons to protect our own interests?

I’m not suggesting rose-colored posts that pretend life is perfect. We need to be real. We want to know we’re not alone in the things we suffer or strive towards.

But thank God for the multitude of individual lights flickering in the digital world who write about….

Acts of kindness from strangers.
Folks making a positive difference.
Personal stories of redemption, healing, and grace.

The woman, who took a hiatus from blogging, used her words to encourage others and sing God’s praises. When her online presence was gone…I noticed.

Because even in the cyber world, people make a difference.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24).

Photograph: jennywredephotography.com

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