I attended St. Luke’s for grade school. I was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. I remember them as being kind and good teachers…but there were a couple who could have run “Hell Week” for the Navy Seals … they were tough cookies, and they didn’t put up with a lot of “funny business”. And with our group ……hmmm. My class had a smattering of ethnic backgrounds with McGauley, Kersens, Giovanni, Mender, Corkery, Hoeferlin, Corso, Davis, Betz, Touhill. In the schoolyard you’d hear. “Hey, anyone seen “Meatball”… no, but check with “Herc”, he was with him earlier…. oh, thanks “Smiley”.
Back in the day, it seemed everyone had a nickname. There might be some “rhyme or reason” for the name, but nothing too profound. In truth, the nicknames were pretty matter of fact… not mean or condescending. “Meatball Mender” was a tall thin blonde headed kid with a very round head that did kind of remind you of a meatball… “meatball” was a perfect nickname. “Herc” was also very thin… really a string bean and could have fit the name of “Bean Pole or Twiggy”, but being with a more sophisticated group we came up with “Herc”…short for Hercules…. as in “Hercules, the Greek God”. Well “Smiley” always had a smile on his face… it was a natural smile. You’re probably wondering what my nickname was…. many of you would probably suggest “genius” or “the old master” or “Mr. Handsome”…but no, none of those were it. A lot of my other friends simply went by their last name… “Betz, Burns, Floyd”. Even my mother would ask, “how is Betz doing…is Smiley coming over, how about “Herc”….
Boy, you may be thinking “this is really a “deep BLOG”….. I can’t wait for the theme of this BLOG to rise to the surface. I know it’s going to be radical and far-reaching…maybe even life changing. Don’t delay any longer…the suspense is killing me.” Well……, “a nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, it is a form of endearment and amusement.” (Wikipedia) Unless you’re with friends, you generally don’t use nicknames. In our family our kids have many nicknames. Our eldest daughter Angela was very creative and I called her “Leonardo di Beanie”, after Leonardo Di Vinci, later shortened to “Lil Beanie”. Our son Pete had many names one being “Wallpaper”, shorten to Walter…. Don’t ask me why.
Okay, let’s “land this plane”.
In heaven , scripture tells us we will receive a new name (Rev. 2:17) What it will be and what it will signify, only God knows. But it will be good… probably describing who you really are. Like a true nickname, I believe it will also “be used to express affection and be a form of endearment”. I don’t think it will be “ Meatball or Herc, or Smiley or Wallpaper”, but it will be a great name.
Maybe the next time you’re praying, ask the Lord what your new name is going to be in heaven…. hmmmmm, I think we may need nametags.