Last week, my daughter brought home a coloring page from Sunday School. On the back, she’d written her name in crooked preschool letters. She’d flipped around the Ds to Bs, so her name was a different name entirely. Underneath, her teacher had written capital and lower case Bs and Ds, and then my daughter had written her name again correctly.
Her Sunday School teacher is amazing. She has a doctorate in reading. In this house where we love words so much, that’s like being a rock star. I love the way she lovingly incorporates reading skills into each lesson. In her room on Sunday morning, it’s not God in one hour-long slot and literacy skills for another time. They’re all together; God and the gifts he’s given, wisdom and truth and kindness cresting over each other like waves.
My daughter’s name is important. I believe it is written on God’s hands, each letter inscribed across the flesh of his palms. I admit I’m not sure what that means entirely, but I believe those hands are actively working in the world. I believe they’re open and cupped with mercy, and my daughter’s life is written into that plan, steeped in that mercy.
A receiver of mercy. A bestower of mercy. That is what her name looks like.
I believe those palms rest on her teachers’ shoulders each day as my daughter writes her name, nudging, “Teach this child who she is.” So we work on the letters, parents and Sunday School teachers and preschool teachers together. With crayons on paper, we note the number of tines on her E, the directions of b and d. We’ll keep working until she knows her name like the back of her hands.
We’ll keep working till she knows herself like the palms of God.