It all started about a week ago. I had just gotten off work and was on my up to my mom's house for a viewing of The Bachelor. Yes, yes, I know, it's strewn with human inequities, cattiness and overall somewhat malicious depravity but it can be entertaining nonetheless. Anyways, I found myself flying up the final road to my mom's house and do you know what I was thinking?
"I cannot wait to see Gracie." Yes, she's the dog. The dog in the picture. My sweet girl. My family has about a million alternate names for her, all of which she responds to because she's SO DARN SMART, but "my sweet girl" is mine and mine alone. I've called her that particular name since she was a puppy and, only in the most quiet and loving of moments. You know the moments right? The ones where she's sitting on your feet and staring up at you with giant brown eyes, pleading for a scratch.
I walked into mom's house to a barrage of whining, crying and scurrying. Gracie may be nearing 70 in dog years but it certainly doesn't show in those moments of sheer joy and excitement. She reverts to a puppy and loses her cute little mind because she loves her family so much. It got me thinking after I gave her a kiss goodbye (I also bid farewell to my parents, just in case you were wondering.)
If being loved can grant such fulfillment, such contentment, to a dog, what does love and desire do to us as humans? I thought back on my husband's courtship of me. Before we were married he called me "my girl" consistently. After we got married, I started going by the tender euphemism "my love" at his request. He rarely called (or calls me currently) by my name. To some, that might be concerning. Do I not deserve to be called by my God-given name? Am I not worthy of said honor?
My husband calls me "my love" because that is what I am to him. I inhabit a special place in his heart that no other can, thus the intimate and tender nickname. I provide a companionship and partnership that no other person on the planet can. How mesmerizing is that thought? Out of seven billion people, I am his companion and he is mine.
A deep spirituality resides in the intimacy of spouses and familial relationships that is difficult to pinpoint. We were designed to fill each other up with the most Godly of things. I believe part of that is the names (or nicknames) we assign one another. Deep love moves beyond goo-goo eyes, flirty smiles and gentle touches, it permeates the soul with a long-lasting and unbreakable bond.
It makes me wonder what pet names God has for us. What ardent names does he deem good enough for his children that look to Him for strength and acceptance? I, for one, look forward to hearing the name that he has had in mind for me ever since the conception of the world. Does it invoke a bright, cycling light? Does it invoke fearless determination? Whatever He has decided, I know it will personify the most dazzling parts of me. The parts He designated as extensions of himself.
God gifted us with the capability to either build or destroy with our words. But, more importantly, he granted us the ability to choose which we will use.