Names wield power. They can be used for good or bad. Kids sometimes use them to destroy on the playground. You get labeled Ugly or some other demeaning nickname and it can scar you for life. God used names to show a transformation to a higher calling…like Abram to Abraham.
In this scene from Eyes of Light, the power in a name is shown. Suvi has just met James (Jamie) for the first time and learned his name. She changes it, and it symbolizes the change in him as well. I love how Suvi always calls him James from here on out—never Jamie like the rest of his friends do. To me, it shows her respect and admiration.
Suvi searched his face for any sign of pretense or deceit, but could detect none. A sudden ache came over her to learn everything about this man—what made him tick, what made him angry, what were his dreams. The desire confused her since she hadn’t let herself get close to anyone since she left Seattle. Why would she want to care for someone again? That only led to heartache.
For several seconds, she stared at him. “Does being a missionary make you have light around you?”
His brow furrowed.
She shook her head, embarrassed that she’d voiced her thoughts. “Sorry. I think my eyes are messed up from that punch. You seem to glow. It’s weird.”
She shifted positions and rested her eyes, not knowing how she would pay for a Quick Care visit since rent was due in two days. Why couldn’t life stop throwing wrenches into her plans? She braced herself with her hand to keep still and not hurt her ribs as he backed out and pulled onto Parkcenter Boulevard.
“Is Jamie your real name or a nickname?” she asked.
He turned his twinkling eyes her way. “It’s short for James.”
“Then I’ll call you James. I like that better. Jamie seems like a little boy’s name, and well…what you did for me today, James…” she paused for emphasis, “…You were a real man.” She blushed and looked out the window.
What do you think? Do names and nicknames have the power to make a person act different? Have you ever been hurt or uplifted by a name in your life?