A few weeks ago, I declared that I was ready to start a new blog series, inspired by our mug shelf at home:
Which, by the way, has welcomed some new friends since then.
The idea is that if you are a mug hoarder (ahem, collector) like we are than mugs represent something to you. They tell some sort of story.
In telling those stories I'll lead off with this one:
It's a mug with my initial on it that Miranda got me once for a gift.
It often sits near her "M" mug in our counter, because I have an occasional blessed rage for order.
My name could have been more than one name.
I was adopted, very soon after birth. My guess is that, unborn, I had some name in my birth mother's mind's eye.
My adoptive parents tried on several names before they settled on Todd (because they liked it) Armon (because it ran in the family, and was in turn given to my oldest son as well).
I had nicknames as a kid I won't tell you about, and a college nickname that I sure won't tell you about.
My wife calls me a pet name (odd phrase, 'pet name') that is not extraordinary, but is personal and intimate.
I get called "Mr", "Pastor", "Son", "Daddy".
I suspect there are a few who call me names unprintable in a family blog.
It's extraordinary, the amount of names we acquire through the years, most of us.
But there is one name that matters most.
It's a name that is a secret to everyone but you.
It's the name that in your heart of hearts you most hope God calls you when he is thinking about you.
As you read that, you know the name for you, right?
"One of us"?
"You're OK now"?
The Bible starts with naming - the first man and woman, and their sacred call to name the animals.
It continues with naming, where whole nations are summed up in the names of men who were pretty sure they didn't have what it took and in re-named men who had failed beyond comprehension yet were given names upon which the whole Story of the world would hinge.
And the Bible ends with naming, in this terribly mysterious and achingly beautiful passage where we all of us are handed a white stone upon which is inscribed a new name that only we, and He, know.
That Name is what you have been longing for your whole life, whether you know it or not, whether you have ever heard of it or not.
And it is the Name that is hinted at in that name that you most hope God is thinking about when he thinks about you.
That's what a simple "T" on a mug evokes for me - my name...and my Name.