I’ve always liked my name, Beck. It’s unique, I like that. I’ve known only two other Becks. When I introduce myself I usually have to repeat my name and clarify that it is short for Rebecca, and, no, I don’t go by Becky. I’ve never gone by Becky, and it is an entirely different name.
I like the way Beck is crisp and sharp, yet, at least in my mind, conjures the gurgle of a brook in a mossy cove. I like how it reminds me of my childhood and hot southern summers. I like my name. I think it suits me. I like how southern people linger over the e, extending it in friendly manner. I’ve always identified with my name, it is me!
I met another Beck this summer. She’s as different from me as a you would expect a young, vibrant, musical, Romanian woman would be. But not. I think there were some similarities, we both have dark hair and big smiles and passion for Jesus. But somehow she sparkled with a clarity I haven’t found, or lost.
A new mutual friend called her “the Beck”. If I was twenty something those would have been fighting words, I would have had something to prove. How could I have stood meeting someone more Beck than me?
At first the words bit, I felt the contrast; older, slower, not so up and coming, not nearly as Beck as I was or maybe ever have been. And yet a beautiful thing happened inside of me. A yielding. I found I could lay down my name and not fight for ownership. I could be plain Beck or not Beck at all. Because I hadn’t gone to Serbia to be Beck.
I had gone to Serbia to wash feet.
I think it’s possible that Jesus laid down his name. Is Jesus even the name the Father uses with him anyway? Strange thought I know, but in the Bible names and nick names have meaning and are given and then changed. Was the Son called Jesus in eternity past? Is there a name so precious and personal the Father uses for him that we can’t even know it? I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true. If so, the Son laid it down. It didn’t matter, he had come to wash feet, to be something common and called something other. He became Humility incarnate.
Beck, from Romania, is like a jewel. She shimmers and sparkles and even laughs musically from a deep place inside. You don’t get to meet many people like her in your lifetime. Honestly, she is “the Beck”. She’s the Beck God has chosen to bless her people, and many others, with music so raw and real and powerful I honestly felt like I was hearing something altogether different than music.
I’ve wanted to be someone like her my whole life. The kind of person who can captivate a room with passion and eloquence and energy. But you can’t be that person if you want to be, you can only be that person if you don’t want to be or don’t care if you are. I could be wrong but I don’t think she does. And I found when faced with it, I don’t care anymore either. I don’t need to be “the Beck”. I don’t even need to be Beck at all. I want to be Jesus, Humility incarnate. Because Serbia, my family, my church, my neighbors, don’t need Beck, they need Jesus.
I think it’s funny that I traveled to a different continent to come face to face with another Beck and learn a new way to die. But it’s probably the best lesson about myself I learned in Serbia. Jesus is always faithful to strip us of ourselves, so that we can have more of him. What’s more personal than a name?
Does holding onto your identity (perceived or real) stand in the way of embracing what Jesus has planned for you?
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20