Impressionable Name

She stepped out of the angry murderous crowd and wiped the condemned man’s face. Her act of courage in a volatile, irrational, environment left an impression on my heart. When it was time for me to choose a name, one I wanted to identify with, I vowed to carry on her name. As a young teenager I had limited awareness of what was taught in the church I was born into. I heard the stories, felt their promise of love, acceptance, courage, justice and forgiveness. In time, I became aware of the irrational separation of the sacred stories and the current teachings.

I watched a young boy writing his name over and over as he practiced his handwriting. The letters seemed meaningless to him. He sat slumped over, head resting on the table, with every part of his body he expressed frustration for having to write his name. He asked for my help. I commented that there wasn’t much I could do to write his name, since that was something he just needed to do. More frustration. I let the silence enter our space. Softly, I began to express the beauty of his name, how special he was to have that particular name. That name, the one he was writing, was his name only, a gift to him, as unique and wonderful as his smile, his eyes, his intelligence. I urged him to write the letters with pride, with determination that he would live up to his name. Slowly, he sat up taller, noticed the symbols that formed his name. A smile replaced his frustration.

Without asking this young person I was certain no amount of reasoning would convince him that handwriting was important. At least in that moment he did honor his name. I was grateful f or a silent moment with Veronica. The unspoken name I continue to carry with respect.

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