The Gospel reading for Easter Tuesday got me to thinking about names. Mary Magdalene, by the empty tomb, mistakes Jesus for the Gardener. It is not until he calls her by name that she recognizes Him. A name is so powerful.
I wonder what name Jesus will call me by? I’ve had so many. I made a list of all the various appellations I’ve had over the years (in alphabetical order): Baboo, Babs, Baby, Barb, Barbara, BHG, Big Hug, Bo, Bobbie, Bonus Mom, Diabla, Doc, Dr. G, Dr. Many Names, The Emperor, Fig, Jane, Liver Lips and Mutton Hips (don’t ask), Loopers, Lover Lu, Madam, Mom(my), Mother Dearest, Mrs. G, Old Woman, The Other Mrs. G, Rabs, Smell-bad, Stink (I am hoping not this one but it’s what my Dad called me until the day he died), Twink (no relation to the junk food), Wills….each name, however odd, a tender reminder of a different relationship. Each name tied to a person, a place, a time and so many experiences of love, for we don’t give strangers or enemies the opportunity to name us. That power belongs only to those who love us, those whom we love.
Was it His voice she recognized, or the relationship of which her name was a reminder? Was it triggered by physical sound or was it something deeper, that called to her not just by the syllables of a word but that indefinable and indescribably real connection that defied even the boundaries of the death she thought had overtaken her Lord?