Friday, May 20, 2005

Beacon No. 38: What, Exactly, Is in a Name

AN UNSCIENTIFIC LOOK AT WHO HAS GOD ON THEIR DRIVER'S LICENSE.


After 9/11 there was a wave of talk in the U.S. about how those Arabs are all religious fanatics—for heaven's sake, half their names have "Allah" in them, don't they? But many Christian names also relate to God. In the spirit of "It's a Small World After All," here's a contemporary Muslim/Christian dialogue—with names replaced by their meanings. See the key at the end to find out who's what in the heavenly order:

A luxury sedan pulls up to a Spanish Colonial house in Los Angeles one sunny day. A blonde woman emerges from the driver's side, as does an Arab man from the passenger side. The driver opens the trunk and together the two carry the Arab man's luggage up to the front door, where the driver's husband is waiting with a welcoming smile.

The driver makes introductions.

WOMAN
"Who Is Like the Lord, I'd like you to meet Servant of God. Servant, Who Is. I used to work with Servant of God at Chevron before the merger. Hey, honey, tell Servant our good news!"

WHO IS LIKE THE LORD
"You bet! Our daughter, Belief and Trust in God, just got into the University of California at Santa Barbara. I don't know what that will happen to her relationship with Honoring God—he got accepted to Berkeley—but I hope they keep dating. Anyway, Honoring God is better for her than that Blessed by God deadbeat she used to go out with—he moved to Moab to mountain bike!"

SERVANT OF GOD
"Well, congratulations! I hear UC Santa Barbara is a good school. Oh, and God Is My Strength, thanks so much for picking me up at LAX."

Servant of God fights back a jet-lagged yawn as God Is My Strength and Servant of the Lord show him around the house.

GOD IS MY STRENGTH (Gabrielle)
"Servant of God, how's your son doing over at Oxford?"

SERVANT OF GOD (Abdullah)
"The Chosen One? Oh, he's knocking 'em dead as usual, top grades. He complains about his roommate, Divine Spear, a lot, but hey, I complained about my first-year roommate too."

WHO IS LIKE THE LORD (Michael)
"And the job?"

SERVANT OF GOD (Abdullah)
"Well, I told you that my old boss, Savior, was transferred to Mecca, right? My new supervisor, The Lord Increases, is so much better. It's made a huge difference at the office in Riyadh. Now I walk out at the end of every day saying, 'Thank God.'"

WHO IS LIKE THE LORD (Michael)
"Good to hear. Well, can I get you something to drink? I'd offer you a Jack God Is My Judge's, but I know you're not a whiskey man. Pepsi alright?"

SERVANT OF THE LORD (Michael)
"Please. And I have a request while I'm here: Can we go to a restaurant that has those Servant of the Lord steaks? I've got a craving. You really can't get decent beef in Saudi Arabia."

GOD IS MY STRENGTH (Gabrielle)
"Done. The only thing that might foul up our plans is that our neighbors are expecting twins any second now, and they might need us to watch their dogs. The new mom's nervous, but we keep telling her the kids will turn out fine. She wants to name them God's Gift and God's Gift if they're boys."

SERVANT OF GOD (Abdullah)
Well, what about if they're girls? She could always name them God's Gift or God's Gift.

GOD IS MY STRENGTH (Gabrielle)
"True. Servant, I know you must be tired after the long flight from Riyadh, so Who Is Like God and I will let you nap before dinner. Towels are in the guest bathroom. Holler if you need anything!"

SERVANT OF GOD (Abdullah)
"Thanks for the hospitality, God Is My Strength. My wife Prayer made me get lots of sleep the night before I got on the plane, but a nap would do me good. See you in a few hours!"

The End


KEY*
Who Is Like the Lord: Michael
Servant of God: Abdullah
Belief and Trust in God: Faith
Honoring God: Timothy
Blessed by God: Benedict
God Is My Strength: Gabrielle
Prayer: Dua
The Chosen One: Mustafa
Divine Spear: Oscar
Savior: Fadi
The Lord Increases: Yusuf
God Is My Judge: Daniel
Servant of the Lord: Angus
God's Gift (boys): Matthew and Nathan
God's Gift (girls): Dorothy and Theodora

* Based on various baby-naming Web sites.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Brilliant.

- Leah Bat Naftali ("wife of Jacob, daughter of he who wrestles with the angel"), aka God's-Oath-Dark-Forest-Street-of-Stones

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