The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build A Home
Amy’s now 7 months along in the pregnancy. Which sounds good and fun, except for this fact: she’s 3 months away from giving birth…which means we’re 3 months away from being parents! Sure we’ve been a fine mother and father to our dog, Zeke. But a human? A real eating, breathing, crying, smiling, hand-holding, life-living boy? We’ll be sailing thru uncharted waters…and we couldn’t be more excited/nervous about it.
We’ve been told that you’re not supposed to pick out a name and settle on it until you actually see your child. I can see some value in that. That almost prevented us from full-on already picking out a name (and who knows, it may change when we finally hold him). But here’s the deal: I’ve already seen our son. A couple of months ago, I saw this:
As soon as the nurse said, “it’s a boy”, one name came to mind: “Abe.” Abraham had been on our mind. It was on our short-list, but it was certainly not decided or definite. That is until I “saw” our boy for the first time. Abraham became his name in that moment. Even if I’d wanted to change it, I couldn’t. It was already his and it was no longer ours. He was as much Abe as I was Bobby.
I’ve always valued names. I believe in the power of them and I’ve seen the biblical precedent for casting a vision thru a name. I wanted to do the same for our child. Amy and I spent a long time crafting out possibilities, until this all came together. Below you’ll find a piece I’ve written to our son. When he’s old enough to understand, I’ll give it to him. He will, for the first time, understand why he is who he is. I hope his name gives him a solid foundation. I hope it guides his footsteps and fashions his faith. I hope it inspires him to be a man after God’s own heart.
We certainly have many hopes. But our largest hope in all of this, one that I hope never gets lost in the brush, is that as much as we can build a name, what we’re really hoping to build is a man.
here it is:
your name, built for you, by us
Joshua Abraham Harrison
Joshua because “He” is before “me.” Jesus is first. “He saves”. I pray it’s always a clear reminder for you that “Abe” comes second. Always put others before you. Always put God before you. Always display your real strength in this kind of way. He did.
Joshua because it was he who led Israel faithfully into the promised land. He himself was not first, but when called upon, Joshua took the lead from Moses and finished out strong. He did not cave under pressure but rose to the occasion and stood tall. May you be a mighty man of valor one day and lead. May you be a leader among your friends and family.
And Joshua because of one of the greatest men I know. Joshua Holland. A strong reminder that God is good and blesses us beyond our belief. A good, good friend…the best a man can ask for. Here’s hoping that you grow strong and faithful like him, and that one day you have the kind of friendship the two of us share. May Joshua be a reminder and testament to friendship.
Abraham because of faith. When the Father asked this father in the Old Testament to show his faith in the most difficult way imaginable, he came thru. Abraham was a “Father of Nations” and paved the way for the rest of history. He is the Father of our Faith. May you one day be a father like him, like me. May you one day father others in the faith.
Abraham because of our country’s greatest president. “Honest Abe”. A man of virtue and value. A man of unwavering confidence and strength. A man who’s mythology may be greater than his actual being, but who can dispute a legend? May you stand in the face of adversity and trials with the same stature and belief. May you be a pillar for others to look to. May you always be honest.
Abe because of something silly and simple, and your mom and I always value silly and simple. A is for Amy. B is for Bobby. E is for Everything. You’re Mom. You’re me. You’re our everything. You’re our Abe.
Abe because it is simple, but it carries real weight. It is a strong name filled with courage and class. Carry it well, but never carry it alone. You’ll never walk alone.
And Harrison because it is the name of our Fathers. My father and your father. One day, I pray you will say the same to a son of your own. Harrison: A surname of presidents. A name that’s stood the test of time. Not that there’s any real strength in the name alone, though. The real strength will come through the first two names, and how you live them out. But eventually, you get to this last. The most stripped down paring of me, your dad. The name I’m giving to you for you to give yourself.
Harrison has no deep symbolic meaning to me. Just the old worn word that feels more like home to me than anything else. Writing it out, those 8 letters with double-R’s that I love to capitalize, brings me thru childhood to college, marriage and ministry and now here. Writing it brings me to you.
I pray one day you have the gift of writing your wife’s name next to it, the way that I have. Seeing her maiden name moved to the side to be only next to yours is the most humbling reminder that she is yours to lead. Not because she is weak, but because she is strong. I pray that you have the reward of one day leading in that way as well. I pray that you have the reward of one day loving someone as much as I love her…and as much as I already love you.
Joshua Abraham Harrison – because you are loved.