Do you like your name?
What kind of name do you hope to gain in this world? Are you known as a leader, thinker, doer, source of compassion, gossiper, kvetcher, change maker, well of goodness or blessing?
The Midrash tells us that when God desired to create the first human being, God consulted the angels. God asked, “Shall we make human beings?” They responded, “What will they be like?” God said, “Well, their wisdom will be greater than yours.” How did God prove it? God assembled all of the animals and asked the angels to name them. The angels were perplexed. But the first human, Adam looked at the animals and began to offer them names. God asked Adam, and what do you want to call yourself? Adam replied, “Adam…because I was fashioned out of the earth.” God continued, “And what do you want to call me?” Adam answered, “You are the Lord…because You are Lord over all of your creations.”
God seemed to understand that human beings hold the wisdom and ability to name ourselves. To pronounce and declare our identity. To shout to the world, who we are and how we pray others perceive us. Moreover, God encouraged Adam to offer a name for the Holy One of Being. Perhaps, as a reminder that each human being holds a unique relationship with God, a relationship that holds different shapes, formations and names through the course of our lives.
Over the past few months, I have wondered how our names will survive the course of the pandemic. When people see our posts, pictures, hear our calls, needs, wants and prayers, what is the essence of our name? Do we encapsulate resilience? Does our name signify defeat? Which names resonate with convictions of faith and sentiments of hope?
Whichever name we project to the world and whichever name we hold in our hearts; may we recognize ourselves when all of “this” is over. Retaining who we are and constantly reminding ourselves who we want to be.