I'd love to hear how you got YOUR name (leave a comment) but I figured I could tell you how I got my names.
First, Jack is not short for anything. It is really just Jack. My Dad used to say that I was named after C.S. Lewis but I'm pretty sure my Mom's account is more meaningful: I was named after my Granddad (her father). Jack Snow was a pretty awesome guy, as Godly Christian men go. He won some kind of lifetime achievement award and the US Fish and Wildlife Department interviewed him. You can find the transcript here.
Second, Marshall comes from my great-grandfather, Marshall Sylvanis Snow. Also, my mom is Marsha so you can't tell me that is an accident. I met him once that I can remember. I think he died in 1989.
Third, since my Dad and his parents literally came over on a boat to the US from the Netherlands, I can count the number of people with the last name, Hinnen, that I'm closely related to. It makes me unique and I love it.
Giving someone a name is no small feat. I don't think it should be taken lightly although choosing a name for our daughter is giving me a false sense of control. Should we use a family name? Will she have to spell it for everyone? Is it cool enough? Classic enough? Smart enough?
I try as a pastor to remember people's names. It provides a window into their world and, whether they like it or not, tells me something about them. I especially try to pronounce it like the person says it instead of projecting my own stuff onto people ("Har har har! You got a funny name!"). But what if a person doesn't have a name yet?
There aren't people who don't have names. There are just people whose names I haven't learned yet. I'm looking forward to learning my daughter's name as well.
The previous "Pastor as Father" post is here. This is part of an ongoing "Pastor as..." Series. Being a pastor is always about the intersection between you, me, and God. At least for my reality.