Shirley Ellis, singing the classic 1964 R & B hit, “The Name Game,” had a definite effect on my brain. Sometimes I can’t remember where I put my keys, but I can recite and sing from memory old goofy songs like, “Shirley, Shirley, bo birley, bonana fanna fo firley, fee fi, mo mirley, Shirley!” So in order to remember people’s names, I do just that—make a game of it. "Fatty Patty", "Tin Top Tim", "Vivacious Vivian", has aided me numerous times, when recalling names...Mine, however, still remains to be "Silly Sue". I've had that for years!
I remember years ago being introduced as Gloria Duffield, and more recently as Sue Duffy. Junk mail comes to us sometimes addressed to The Duffalo Family. I also had a high school coach who never called me by my real name. To him I was Sue Ann. I attempted several times to share with him that my name was Sue or Susan, not Sue Ann, but it never got through. Finally, I just gave in. “Yes, Mr. Mattilucci, to you my name is Sue Ann.” Smile.
Can you imagine the stir and ramifications of the “Saul” to “Paul” name change and transformation? This new identity was to reflect a new life. After Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was a new man with a new heart. The old man with the old beliefs and disastrous way of living was a thing of the past. This new man with a new heart required a new name.
So, give in and play the game. Sometimes it’s just plain fun and endearing to be called something other than your real name!
Don’t be offended; be honored! You never know who is taking note of how you react to your “mistaken” identity!
Last week a young man helped me carry equipment and suitcases up and down stairs to the sanctuary. I called him “Andrew” all day. “Thanks, Andrew, for helping me,” I’d affectionately say. Finally after the event, his little sister came up to me and tugged at my jacket and whispered, “Mrs. Duffield, Andrew’s name is really Adam.”
I groaned. “Why didn’t he tell me?” Her response is the best answer of the day: “Oh, he doesn’t mind. He didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
SUE DUFFIELD is a heart-warming and honest storyteller, singer/songwriter and free-lance writer who travels extensively sharing her faith, music, and comic relief. She and her husband of 35 years, Jeff, travel in and out of the country doing retreats, conferences and special events. Visit her Web site.
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(From the e-newsletter "Laugh Lines", a women's ministry endeavor from the National Women's Department of the Assemblies of God.)