Names Matter

Then the Lord said to Moses: “Number all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and above, and take the number of their names. _Numbers 3:40

Maybe I’m making too much of it, but I think I’m right.

Notice God’s instructions…it gives us a glimpse into His heart.

Censuses have to be taken. People have to be organized around a central cause. Order matters.

But notice carefully…God wasn’t just counting heads or noses, he was counting names.

It’s people–real life humans–we’re talking about here. Not just employees, citizens, workers, helpers, attendees, or customers.

Not just our enemies, opponents, competitors or adversaries–people…people with a name.

Maybe it was a visit to a little German village I took over the Christmas holidays that caused me to noticed this.

When I was a little boy, WWI and WWII was still fresh in the consciousness of Americans. When I played with my toy soldiers the Germans were the bad guys. Matter of fact, all bags of toy soldiers in those days had green American soldiers (the good guys) and either brown (Japanese) or dark blue (German) soldiers in them (the bad guys).

But on that cold winter day in late December, standing in the village square of that little German village I came upon a WWI/WWII War Memorial. As I stood there that day reading the names of real human beings…sons, husbands, dads, brothers, friends…who lost their lives in those terrible wars the colors begin to blur in my mind and my toy soldiers became humans…people…people with names.

We instinctively know this when it comes to us and those we love, but it is important to remember this when it comes to others. “Those people” have names too…they are fellow humans and that matters…it matters very much.

The ONE THING for today: When it involves people, at least know their names before you take action.

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

_John 10:3

The picture in this blog is the War Memorial I wrote about, located in Kallmünz, a municipality in the district of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany.