Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Yesterday, at Claire's birthday party, Xiaofeng asked me to give him an English name. We started talking about it a bit, and he mentioned that he really admired Jack in the movie Titanic, because he gave his life for the woman he loved. But Jean didn't like that name. So we started thinking of other possibilities. Finally Jean said, "Just think of someone in the Bible that you really admire." His response was immediate: "Jesus." Well, I told him that might go over in a Spanish speaking country, but probably wouldn't work for people from America.

This afternoon, they asked me if I had come up with anything yet. I told Xiaofeng that I still thought Jack was a nice name. But he wasn't satisfied. "Jack died for a woman, but I want to die for God." I told him that Peter was crucified. That made him happy. He wanted to be Peter. But Jean and Claire both felt that Peter was too common. The process didn't seem to be going anywhere. Then Xiaofeng said, "Can you find a name that means "honest?" I want to be honest. I went to behindthename.com and did the search, but the only thing that came up was "Nazih," an Arabic name. I said, "Sorry, there's no name that means honest." We were stuck. We had all but given up. But Jean saved the day when she suddenly remembered the scripture where Jesus says, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47) Jesus was talking about Nathaniel. So Nathanael it was. Nathanael agreed. All we had left to do was to teach him how to pronounce it. He's working on it.

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