That was the name of the murdered child in Toni Morrison's disturbing novel Beloved. Of course, there's great irony in the name. Is a child, murdered by her mother to save her from enslavement, truly beloved? On the other hand, isn't it a strangely brave act of love to put that child away from worldly danger? These odd, contradictory thoughts come together in the name: Beloved.
In the bible, names are also points of tension, irony, paradox. Gideon is called "mighty warrior" when he is nothing of the sort. Abraham is called "father of a multitude" while he is simply an old man without a son. Mary is hailed "blessed among women" when indeed she will watch her son die upon a tree (cursed, says Deuteronomy 21:23, is the man hung on a tree).
We each have names. Family names. God-given names. Maybe we are living in our names and they are making sense, or maybe there is tension, irony, and paradox.
What's your name and how is it feeling today?
Leaning Field Grass photo by J Barkat. Used by permission. Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.
LL's latest talk Beloved Child