John 20:16-17 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

I was doing my best to keep it together. While my mother lay terminally ill in a hospital nearly three hours away, I was tending to the ordinary business of my life—buying groceries, paying bills, and going to the bank. I was being strong.

It was at the drive-in window that I finally lost it. The teller and I exchanged the usual small talk as I handed her my deposit, but then she said my name: “Thank you, Susan.” I started sobbing then and there.

What was it about hearing my name that cut through my defenses? Even now, twenty years later, I think of that moment of recognition, of the intimacy that comes with merely speaking a name. 

MOVING FORWARD: What are the names you are known by? How do the different names express different relationships?