Life’s Lesson

Choosing a name

By Helen Guilford - Special to The Expositor

I once had the privilege of choosing a name for a newborn. The father, who had two previous children, drove in, got out of the truck and came over to where I was working on the house. Without preamble, he said, “The baby is here, a boy. What do you want to name him?” Until that very moment, I had no idea I would be invited to choose a name. Quickly, I did a mental run-through of names in my family. It was easy to eliminate my brothers’ names as other boys in the community already had those, so the new arrival became Harold, for my dad.

I’ve named several pets over the years. My first saddle horse was Trigger as I came up through the Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger era. Another, a tall, beautiful red sorrel with four white stockings and a white blaze down her nose, was Boots.

On to dogs – Toyon, a white German shepherd/husky mix, was named for a book we had recently read as were a white German shepherd named Heide and a Norwegian elk hound named Nikki.

Pokey was a name corrupted from Polka Dot as this little one was white with a grand covering of polka dots. Probably a terrier mix, she had one blue eye.

Button was under the shelter of the pine tree one day when we came home from work. She was tiny, would barely fill one hand, very young, ribs protruding, covered in blisters and scabs where there should have been puppy hair. She couldn’t even lap milk. We didn’t think she would live through the night, but with tender nighttime care and feedings, she made that night and many years of nights after that. Her name, of course, came from her tiny size.

She was still with us when we got an Australian Shepherd. His name? We already had Button, so he became Bo (from Buttons and Bows).

Cats the same way – markings, coloring or where we found them – hence, one named Buddy was often referred as the bootlegger car.

Though she already had a couple of cats, my roommate really wanted a kitten. We followed up a newspaper ad and soon Socks joined our animal family. Though his markings were distinct and very pretty, he was named for his four white socks.

Now, Socks is still with my friend and is still usually called Socks. Then an escapade made her consider changing his name. This cat was raised on dry cat food and it is what he prefers. In fact, he usually just sticks his nose in the air if offered anything else, though an occasional tidbit of ham might get his attention.

One day, he was roaming outdoors when a car drove in to visit her neighbor in the duplex. Now, Socks just can’t resist open car windows. So, in through the window he went presumably to catch a cat nap. Wait! What is that enticing scent? Oh-h-h-h! A burger from McDonald’s!

This cat who regularly turns up his royal little snoot at people food was lured to the McDonald’s bag where he opened the sandwich and devoured a goodly portion of it! His name became … , no, not mud! But we did consider calling him Hamburger for a while.

Where did your name come from? Mom’s imagination? Her friends? Family? It really doesn’t matter. But when we take Jesus Christ into our hearts, we take on His name – Christian. We must live in such manner that no one ever questions it. As we wouldn’t want to bring disgrace to our family name, so we must be careful not to bring disgrace to that new name – Christian.

Choosing a name

By Helen Guilford

Special to The Expositor