Speak Eagle

Ripples in the Water

My 3-year old son and I took a walk together the other morning, headed to one of our favorite spots under a bridge to throw rocks in the creek.  As we passed another mom and her son at the park, he yelled out in typical fashion,

“What’s your name?”

The mom replied, and then my son yelled out again, telling her his full name.

I smiled.  He is very proud of his name.  As I pushed his stroller up and over a curb, down the treelined path of morning sunshine, I recalled how my husband and I chose his first name very carefully and prayerfully after a man of great faith.

We then chose his middle name after one of my ancestors who was a pillar of the Christian faith 5 generations ago.  He brought Christianity over with him from Sweden to Kiron, Iowa, and started the first Christian church in that area.  Or so I thought…

…Until my husband and I had lunch with some of my relatives a few months ago.  As we proudly told them of our choosing our son’s name, my uncle looked at me quizzically.

“What?”  I asked, as all of the color suddenly drained out of my face.  “That’s what he did, right?  He brought Christianity here and then started the first church?”

He bit his lip.  “Actually,” he looked at his wife, “Wasn’t he the one who gambled away the family farm?”  I almost choked on my soup.  Brian started laughing uncontrollably.  Nice.  We named our son after a renegade.

“Please tell me you’re kidding.”

My uncle shook his head.  And then said, “Yeah, he made more than a few enemies from gambling.  But eventually he repented and made things right with his friends and family.  In his later years he did become a leader for the Christian faith in the church and community.”

Whew.  Okay, I think I can live with that.  He had a rough start, but after being broken by his sin, repented, received grace, led faithfully, and finished strong.

“Splash!”  my son picked up another rock and hurled it into the creek with all of his 3-year old strength.  I watched the ripples extend out 2 feet, 5 feet, 10 feet, 3 generations, 5 generations, remembering a man who admitted his brokenness and then lived and led in the grace and power of the gospel.

My son has every reason to be proud of his full name.  Even though from here to eternity it will always make me smile.

2 thoughts on “Ripples in the Water”

Comments are closed.