From the manse window
IDON’T know the dog’s name – only that he is a West Highland Terrier. I frequently bump into him, accompanied by his owner, a smart woman in her late twenties.
When I come to think of it, I don’t know her name, either!
We often stop for a little chat, or just to exchange pleasantries.
Then one morning, it happened that we were all heading in the same direction, and so we walked together.
As we walked, we chatted some more.
Out of the blue she told me she didn’t come from Edinburgh, but from a small village in Kincardine.
“It’s called Fettercairn,” she said. “You probably won’t have heard of it.”
I laughed and shook my head.
“Ah, but I have! I had a job there as a student,” I said, “on an estate just outside Fettercairn.”
She laughed, too. “What a small world! My mum and dad live in an estate cottage outside Fettercairn.
“I wish they were closer as I’m due my first baby in two weeks.”
“Congratulations,” I said, as we approached her flat. “I hope all goes well.”
“Thanks,” she responded. “I’ll let you know.”
Only afterwards did I wonder how this woman whose name I didn’t know, with the dog whose name I didn’t know, was going to let me know!
Little did I suspect that the dog would have a big part to play in just that!
One morning, coming back with my paper, I spotted the dog whose name I didn’t know with a young man whom I had never met.
I approached him via his dog!
He was delighted when I asked after his wife.
“Yes, our baby son is two weeks old. His name is Harris.”
Amid the all the anonymity, we shared the special knowledge of knowing Harris’s name.
But while I have met Mum and Dad and dog, the one person whose name I do actually know I have still to meet.
He must be a couple of months old now and I hope that he and his mum know I was asking after them.
What’s in a name is just one question posed by the amazing events which occurred on Emmaus Road late that very first Easter Sunday.
Luke tells us that two of Jesus’s followers were chatting excitedly about all that had happened that day, when they were joined by none other than Jesus himself.
But the fact that they knew his name didn’t help them to recognise him.
“He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old,” Albert Schweitzer writes.
“He came to those men who knew Him not and speaks the same word: ‘Follow thou me!’”
Next week: David Mclaughlan looks for the positive in life!