Photo: Storyblocks

by Linda Veath

The word of the Lord came to me (Jeremiah) saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” ~ Jeremiah 1:4 NIV

It was a memorable Sunday Morning Bible Class. Pastor Marth had been at my church for a year or so, long enough to know our names. Or so I thought.

I don’t remember exactly what lesson he was teaching that day, but he wanted us to understand that it was personal to each of us. So, he used an example about Christ loving each of us as unique individuals. He started around the table …. “Christ loves Doris.” Christ loves Sarah.” “Christ loves David.” And then he came to me. “Christ loves  [pause, cough, cough, silence].”

I spoke up and said, “Linda or just call me What’s-Her-Name.”

We all had a good laugh  and he has apologized more than once for letting a cough wipe out my name.

 (T)hus says the Lord, who created you… “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name: you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1 NKJV

Aren’t you thankful that the Lord doesn’t forget your name, or mine? He doesn’t even hesitate or cough. After all, He knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb. He is our Shepherd who calls us by name. And He not only created us, He redeemed us. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. What joy, what peace, what hope that should bring to our lives.

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Since that fateful Sunday, Pastor Marth has never forgotten my name (which he did know — he had just coughed at the wrong moment). But every so often, I remind him about it. It will always be one of my favorite memories of his time at my church.

I write this on his final day as our pastor. I hate to see him go and will miss him and his family. I left a card for him at the church today and, just in case, I signed it “Linda What’s-Her-Name Veath.“

Thank you, Pastor Marth, for letting the light of our Lord shine in your life as you serve Him faithfully all your days. God’s blessings and peace to you always.