“Stories are light. Light is precious
in a world so dark.....
Make some light.”
― DiCamillo, Tale of Despereaux
Luke, our oldest son, has always loved a good story. The minute he was talking he was asking for a story. I would knit words together each night as he stared, big eyed, into the darkness. The story would always involve Luke, taking adventures and discovering hidden treasure. One of my favorite places to tell a story to him was around a fire in the backyard. It was silent except for the crackle of wood. Jeff would be holding Levi and I would begin, the whole time staring at Luke's face lit by the fire. His most beloved story was not made up. It was true and happened to Luke, and Jeff and I got to be a part of it.
"Tell me again the day I was born, and what dad said to me, why you named me Luke." I would begin the same way every time. "I was very surprised, you see. We thought you would come to us much later, years later. Even the day you were born you surprised us! Two weeks earlier than the doctor had thought, like you couldn't wait any longer to see what the world would be like. "And did it hurt when I was born?", He asked this each time also. "Yes, it hurt, but everything worth it hurts, and you were worth it. I remember you came into the world not crying, and dad was worried, because all babies cry at first. But the minute the nurses took you to see why, you let out a good, loud cry. "And then dad spoke to me?" Yes, He first kissed me and then walked over to get a good look at you for the first time. He looked at your pink face and small belly breathing in and out. And he looked right into your eyes, smiled big and said, "Hi Luke, you are my son and I am going to be your Daddy forever." 'And what did I say?" You cried, but I think you meant, I'm so glad your my daddy." Luke would laugh at this part and stare at the picture that captured the time when father and son met. Luke would end with, "But I knew him already, I knew his voice because he talked to me each night when I was in your belly." He would continue to look at the picture quiet eyed and grinning.
Luke would then ask about his name. Why we chose to call him Luke Isaac Stables. I always loved the name and as he grew in my tummy I knew more and more that would be his name. Luke, means bearer of light. Isaac means laughter. I wanted Luke to bring light to people. Truth in stories. But that seemed a heavy mantle to carry, so Isaac means laughter. And from the time Luke was tiny his laughter has been large, deep welled, and contagious. It is a laugh that surprises people who only get to see a pensive boy with thoughts too large to express. The contrast of furrowed brow in thought and belly laughing loud. Luke always made sure we knew he was glad we gave him the right name. What if you had named me George he would ask in horror.
How we come into this world is important but lasts only a moment. A name is important and you carry it through your days. It is how the world will first hear of you, how you are announced, called forth. One of the most important things Luke will learn and relearn in life will be to know who he belongs to. Who calls him by name in love. Who began his story before we knew he would be written into our lives. That story is the one that will become more important the older he gets. What does your name mean? Who calls it forth in love? To whom you do you belong? Praying that you will hear his voice call you by name. And hear the most important story to be told.
"You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14