By Rodney Tilley, Pastor Van Horn Community Church —
Every time you see a train traveling through Van Horn, you will notice the graffiti written on the sides of the box cars as they pass by. We see it on the sides of trains in Van Horn, while in El Paso you see it on the sides of empty buildings and block walls, and even on cars abandoned on lonely city streets.
Just this week as I waited at the crossing for the train to pass, I noticed various names such as, “Noel, Mr. Nice, Kool, The Kid, and SOOOO Fine,” written in bold letters and done very professionally. Here were names of people trying to be heard, looking to be seen. It is not so much the painting of the names that should get our attention, but why are they writing them? What is someone telling you by this cry for recognition? I think they are telling us, “I exist and I am here, so please don't ignore me” I have something to say, so try and call me by name, for I am important.
They want to know that someone recognizes that symbol, that clue, which gives meaning to their existence, and gives one, self worth. They may not verbalize that, but nevertheless, the message comes through loud and clear. They sign their names in bold letters on the passing trains, overhead on highway bridges, and even on white vans parked as a painter's canvas ripe for the artist's brush. It is like a loud speaker shouting to us, “I am somebody.”
And I, too, must admit that I like people to recognize me and call me by my name. I love it when they call you by name at the check out at the hardware store, or when they yell your name as they pass you in their truck going down Broadway.
But the Bible says that Jesus also, “calls his sheep by name, “(John 10:3), which the sheep of course symbolizes those that follow our Lord. The Bible continues and says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know meâ€¦.” You see, someone really important, I mean really important, knows who you are and He knows your name. He does not need to see it in Broadway lights, either on Broadway in Van Horn or in New York, nor does he need to see it on some bathroom stall in an obscure bus stop, Jesus only wants to see you name written in heaven, written in the Book of Life.
So sign up today and whether you are “Noel, SOOOO Fine, or Mr. Kool,” Jesus our Lord, can call you by name. He knows all about you and listen, I hear him callingâ€¦â€¦ He is calling you. He is calling your name.