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Not Just A Name

Every night, Mother read his favorite stories before bedtime. Lately, she noticed he seemed apprehensive at night. “You know what I do when I’m anxious or sad? I just repeat the Name.”

The little boy asked, “What, like…Rumpelstiltskin?” Mother laughed, “No, I don’t think you’re ever supposed to say that name!” She ruffled his hair as he giggled.

“You could repeat one of God’s names. Let’s see, do you think of God as He or She?” The boy replied, “A great big HE!” He spread his arms out wide.

Mother thought for a moment and said, “Well, there’s Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha. There are also Hindu names like Rama, Krishna, or Shiva.”

“Pick only one and say it at least ten times every day, whether you’re happy or sad, and always keep the Name close to your heart.” She pointed to the center of his chest.

The little boy pondered for a moment on the Name that made him feel the happiest. Mother said, “Okay, now it’s time to say your prayers.” She watched the little boy jump up and kneel by the bed.

As she closed the door, she heard him say, “…bless mom and dad and help papaw with that train set he promised me for my birthday.” Mother shook her head and chuckled as she walked down the hallway.

One night, the little boy lay tossing and turning and had a frightening dream. He was in a dark forest with the full moon shining in the night. There was an owl perched on a branch in the distance and he felt danger lurking everywhere.

Suddenly, a tree branch curled around his arm. He tugged, “Let go, let go!” The owl in the distance called out, “Who? Who?” Just as another branch wrapped around his other arm, he screamed.

Mother awoke to the little boy’s cry and heard him shuffling down the hallway. In a frenzy, he rammed his toe, tripped, and fell into his mother’s arms.

The little boy grabbed his foot and cried, “Rama-ow! Rama-ow! Rama-ow!” Mother smiled down warmly and said, “I see you’ve chosen the Name.”