Safe in our mouths

February 16, 2007 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

Supposedly (that is, if you believe that email forwards are reliable sources of information), a team of researchers surveyed a group of 4- to 8-year-olds and asked them to define love. My favorite definition came from Billy, age 4:

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

I don’t think I’ve heard anyone capture the idea of love so profoundly.


I’ve been musing over the Lord’s Prayer for the last few weeks (it’s part of my totem for the year), and I’ve been specifically focusing on the first sentence:

May your name be kept holy.

I suppose this means we are to revere God, that we are not to treat his name cheaply, that we are to handle his name with care in order to show our respect.

But sometimes this seems stilted and silly, as if the more hallowed I hold God’s name, the more distant he feels from me.

Yet maybe it wasn’t meant that way. Maybe Billy’s phrasing is best: Keeping God’s name holy merely means keeping his name safe in our mouths.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

On love What to do with the creationist dissident?

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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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