A lot of people have nicknames. Some of them make no sense, but others hit the nail right on the head. We call my cousin ‘Big Dave.’ He has no children. There is no ‘Little Dave‘ to compare him to, but Dave is bigger, taller and stronger than many of the rest of us, so we have all come to call him ‘Big Dave.’
I’ve noticed that a few figures in the Bible also have nicknames, a lot of them actually. Simon (who most people know as Peter) was called Peter coming from Greek meaning rock, which referred to the Rock upon which Jesus said he would build his church. Then there was John who was the “Beloved” or “the one whom Jesus loved.” Joseph (the one introduced in Acts) was known as Barnabas which means ‘Son of Encouragement.’ Many people in the Old and New Testaments had nicknames that referred to an outstanding characteristic they had.
One day, my pastor asked our small congregation in Japan, “What nickname would God give you?” The statement was almost a side comment, rhetorical. But it stuck with me like paint on a wall. *splash* I thought it was brilliant, a life-defining question! I imagined exactly what God would call me. And it gave me insight into what my role on this earth was (or so I thought).
Some people notice that I’m smart because I can pick up on things quickly and retain information well (so at least I have something going for me). People also notice that I have a decent singing voice. So, people think I should be a teacher or sing solos in a choir, but people don’t understand me at all.
I do like singing and when I work, I’ve come to cherish efficiency and accuracy. But I also like writing and traveling and languages. And I am really silly. I like making people laugh, seeing them laugh, hearing them laugh, laughing with them–it’s a refining and rejuvenating experience every time it’s from the heart; and I find it perfectly brilliant.
I am no comedienne and I am no jester. But I believe my nickname would be Laughter, because I have a gift for Joy that I like to share. It’s the most intrinsic part of me. What about you? What your nickname?