“…To him who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rev. 2:17 (RSV)
Most of us have “pet names” for the ones nearest and dearest to us: our children, perhaps our spouse, maybe other special relatives. I had a beloved aunt whom we used to call, “The Little Aunt Mary” (she was very short and we said it in a childlike voice…). My niece once declared that Aunt Mary was “good medicine” because of her sunny outlook on life. She was greatly loved.
My husband and I also have pet names for our kids, ones which we gave them when they were quite young children. We still privately speak about them by these pet names, despite the fact that our youngest is approaching 40. If they overhear us reminiscing about their childhood and calling them by these names, they tend to get a bit uncomfortable (especially our son!). They want to see themselves as competent and grown up, which they indeed are. They don’t want to dwell on times past when they weren’t so! But to us parents, they live forever in our hearts as those captivating and delightful children, so precious and dear to us despite the challenges of their upbringing, and despite our missteps and blunders as parents.
When I read this passage from the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, I always get a little teary when I think about that longed-for experience of actually seeing my Savior face to face, and hearing his voice. Most of all, I long to find out the special name by which my Heavenly Father has always known me, from before I was even conceived. It’s that name that only He knows. It’s the way he thinks about me. It’s the name that captures the true essence of who he created me to be from my very beginning. It’s a name that’s just between the two of us.
I wonder what he will say, and whether I will have lived up – even a little bit – to that intimate, loving pet name which he gave me, his beloved child, before she was even conceived. For he has always known me and always loved me. What a revelation – an “unveiling” – that will be!