Friday, July 11, 2014

Got the Right Name?

         I went to visit a member of MCC at Cottage Hospital a while ago. She was going in for surgery and I offered to come by the hospital for prayer and to give her one of MCC’s wonderful prayer shawls to remind her of this community’s prayer and love for her.
         So, with my Bible and prayer shawl in hand, I went up to the reception desk at the hospital entrance and asked for her room number. The receptionist looked at her computer and told me that they did not have a patient by that name. I begged to differ and told her about our scheduled appointment for prayer before surgery and probably knew the room where she would be. Again, she told me that there was no patient by that name in the hospital.
         Because of HIPAA regulations, I have to have the exact name correct before they can provide me room information. They cannot help me, if the last name is correct but the first name is wrong. Gratefully, I had a relative’s phone number and called with my dilemma. “Oh, he said, the name she uses at church is not her legal first name, it’s really __________.”
         With the correct name I re-approached the receptionist and requested the room. Immediately I received both the room number and an entrance badge. Having the right name matters!
         What are the names we use for each other in the church? Pastor? Staff? Member? Non-member? Visitor? Westmont? Student? Faculty? Newcomer? Old-timer? All these are accurate and even descriptive. But the writer of the text for Sunday offers us something more, something better in   I John 3:1-10. Come and find out what your name really is.


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