I never met anyone who loves his name more than my brother. When we were kids, that boy wrote his name on everything in our house. I mean, everything.
He thought every object in the house should be his. And this is how he claimed ownership: if he wanted an item, he’d write his name on it, and it became his. At least in his mind.
My brother’s unsanctioned acquisitions didn’t go over well with his sisters. It was beyond aggravating to find his name written on various items all around the house. It was even more annoying to try to convince him that said items were not his. Because the very nature of having his name scrawled across the item almost lent legitimacy to his claim of ownership.
“Hey! That is MY book!”
“No it isn’t. See? My name is on it.”
We are all born with an inner desire for ownership. Even the smallest children yelp, “Its MINE!!!!!” when they sense a peer honing in on their toys. And the childhood desire to claim ownership never really goes away. As we mature it extends beyond material possessions as we stake our claim on the things that matter to us.
We own our jobs, relationships, talents, hobbies, ministries, and passions. In a sense we “write our names” on what is important to us. And the way we live our lives reflects what we have scribbled our names across.
When Tyson experienced the plight of orphans and widows in Haiti, he didn’t stand by. He wrote his name on those orphans and widows. He claimed responsibility to take action and love them like Jesus did. And now he shares the opportunity to serve by organizing missions trips, fundraising, and meal packing events. (When we were kids he would never have shared anything with us – not even toys that were actually ours. See what God did there?)
I am humbled and blessed to know some inspiring people who have written their names on the things close to God’s heart.
My friend Grant has written his name across the victims of human trafficking. He works tirelessly to rescue them and trains others to do the same.
My team and I have written our names on vulnerable children and isolated parents. Our network of volunteers and host families are working to build a safety net for kids and walking with struggling mothers.
My friends Kyle and Kathy have written their names on foster children and opened their homes to shelter and even adopt these kids.
My friend Michelle has written her name on families as she works to train and strengthen parents to parent with the kind of grace that reflects God’s heart.
I could write page after page of people like this. People who on large scale and small have taken up causes, loved on people, and served without any fanfare or fuss.
Have you ever stopped to consider what you could write your name on?
Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we filled this world with the graffiti of each of us writing our names in love on other people?
I am so grateful that Jesus wrote his name on me. He wrote his name on you. He wrote his name on this earth. He invites us to join him in his work and there are countless ways to do this. So pray about where you can jump in, grab a sharpie, and start writing your name on things that matter.