Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I interact with Ethan at lunchtime in our school cafeteria on a daily basis. This is about his mom, from February 9, 2014.

As I was leaving our Sunday night service this evening, I was passing through our courtyard, heading to our adjacent WCS building to finish lesson plans. I spied a fellow congregant heading in the same direction. We had this very short conversation:
"See ya, Martin."
"Bye, Steve."

That, in all likelihood, means nothing to you but it's kind of unique in the orbit of my life. You see, Martin is Emilee, a lovely  and amazing young married woman who once upon a time was a member of the high school basketball team I coached at Westbury Christian School. She is also the only player (or female) I refer to by her last name and the funny thing is, that's not even her last name anymore. When she tied the knot, she took her husband Ryan's last name. But I'm a slow learner. And what is also interesting to me is that Emilee is one of the very few females who played for me who calls me by my first name. To the other 99+%, I remain simply as Coach....and that's not a bad thing!

In case you're wondering, I came to call her Martin, her maiden name, because we had two other players with the same name at that time and we had to differentiate. With me, it just stuck. The very day Emilee graduated from high school, she started calling me Steve and I liked the confidence and audaciousness it exhibited in her. Do you know what's funny? I call our Westbury Christian School chaplain, Dr. Robert Farrar, by his first name and he is eighty-six years old/young. And yet I have yet to call my high school basketball coach, Dale Neal, by his first name to his face...and he was only twenty-five when he had the dubious honor of coaching me. I think it's fascinating that Jesus is rarely called by His name in the Gospels and usually then only by demons or blind men seeking healing. Instead, Jesus is referred to as Rabbi-Teacher-Master-Lord. I have no idea why that is. Maybe it was the culture of the time or the extreme respect afforded Him by His disciples. What we call another speaks volumes about our relationship and our comfort level. Nobody ever called me Stephen except my mother when she was angry and the ladies in my apartment building office. I'm comfortable with Steve and it fits me but if you want to go with Coach, that's good, too. But if we refer to Jesus by one of the titles listed above, it carries a caveat. In Jesus' own words, in Luke 6:46, He poses this question:“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"Like I mentioned before, how we address others defines in some sense our relationship. I pray mine with Jesus passes the Lord, Lord test! Some days, I just misspeak.

Applicable quote of the day:
Our creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good on this earth.

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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