A Rose by Any Other Name Is  Still Not Craig

A Rose by Any Other Name Is Still Not Craig

My son John has a friend named Craig.

They have been friends for a few years.

I only recently met him in the flesh.

He and John’s other friend, Jack wandered through the kitchen in search of cheese-foods and fuzzy beverages.

I recognized everyone but the lanky blonde.

“Hello.” I quipped.

“Hello,” he stuck his hand out, “I am Ian.”

“I guess I haven’t ever heard your name before, are you new to the posse?”

“No ma’am, I have been around a while, my friends call me Craig.”

Indeed, I had heard of John’s good friend Craig.

“Oh, yes.  Hello, Craig.  Is that your middle name?”


“Oh, um… family name?”

“No ma’am.”  He shuffled his feet. “Actually, I don’t know why they call me Craig.”


I looked at John and Jack, “Why do you guys call him Craig?”

Without looking up from their cheese puffs John said, “I thought his name was ETHAN. And after about 2 years he finally corrected me and said it was IAN, it was too late to change gears so I just ran with Craig and it stuck.”

Jack munched, “Yeah, it fits him better.”

Appalled I scolded, “But it’s not his name???”

Craig, I mean Etha- Ian, intervened, “It’s fine.  I think Craig is a cool name.  I am fine with it.”

And maybe he was, or is,  but I felt like it probably had to matter in some way.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop thinking about Craig/Ethan/Ian.

I know, guys are definitely different than us gals.  But I wish to be known.

And not in the fame and fortune made known scenario… but the understood and recognized scenario.


The first time I recognized my minimal footprint was upon landing at the Makati, Venezuela International airport.  My sister and I exited the airplane with a printed list of instructions that would, expectantly lead us to our father on the other side of customs and baggage.

The sights and sounds of the airport, the foreign language and mysterious had us confused and scared. A homeless man tugged on my purse and yammered in Spanish.  A young woman tried to give us her baby, and in broken English said, “Take bebe to Merica? Por Favor me Niño to Merica?”

We shuffled through the madness and finally breathed deeply at the familiar site of our father’s lanky arms waving and the familiar call, “JAMI! STACEY!  YOU MADE IT!  COME THIS WAY!”

Although I have never been fond of my name, Jami with a missing “e,” in this instance, it was music to my ears. To be recognized and called out in the sound of my dad’s voice was a huge relief.

We had made it.

We knew which way to go.

He would help us with our bags, navigate the unfamiliar country, and later show us to our room in their apartment overlooking the immense capitol of Caracas.  On that balcony, I was further overwhelmed by the massiveness of the city.

I felt small.

I felt impossibly unknown.



I was struck to my core… this place I did not know buzzed with an insane and non-stop energy.  It was not impacted by my presence, or my disappearance.  I was irrelevant and unknown in this gigantic fracture of humanity.


I was summoned from my trance.

“Jami! Dinner is ready!” I heard my mom holler.


At that dinner table I was known.  The food, even in another country, had the familiar hints of childhood. This was home.

And as I drifted to sleep that night, a jetlag fog weighed heavy on my bones like a down comforter.  Outside the window a huge palm danced in the South-American wind. Sirens and horns blared; the city wasn’t ready for bed.  I prayed, giving thanks for safe travel and new adventures.

And then I had to ask, “Do really know me? Do you know how  to find me in this place?”

Shallow as it may seem, I was undone by this new to me country… how does God keep track?  How is it possible that these humans go about the everyday life, a thousand miles from me… and still He knows me? Jami… no “e” from Texas.

[clickToTweet tweet=”How does God keep track? How is it possible that these humans go about the everyday life, a thousand miles from me… and still He knows me? ” text=”How does God keep track? How is it possible that these humans go about the everyday life, a thousand miles from me… and still He knows me?”]


I waited for an answer.

I fell deeper into sleep and I heard a familiar sound from somewhere deep in my conscious…. “Yes Jami, I know… welcome to Venezuela.  Try the pineapple, it is divine.”

Over the next weeks I would see the rich, the poor, the lost, loathed, and homeless and my prayers for each were random… yet precise.  For among the faces of the unknown wandered a God who I wish to make known.

And He knows.

He knows your name, mine and theirs.

He is a good Father.

Keeper of our prayers.

King of the World – a hero among the fallen.

He knows and hears our prayers.


He is for us… and with us.

I hope to never to doubt this Truth, no matter where I travel… to whatever land I wander He is with me, my companion and Love.

He whispers His promises to me and He always calls me, Jami.

P.S.  When in Venezuela… try the pineapple.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

Remember… 1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. 

You might also like: Breaking free in the midst of chaos and The true cost of a bad Jesus

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  1. Nancy on February 19, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Your post hit close to home. Thx

  2. Deborah on February 19, 2017 at 8:02 am

    This really struck some chords…for some reason even though my name is Deborah-Debbie-Deb….I constantly get called Diane….I try and make light and go about that it’s no big deal but as life has gone on and life’s circumstances have gotten increasingly more difficult leading to all sorts of lack of community and all things I would love to have I am finding it evermore unnerving when someone can’t get my name right. Yes ….to just be known-seen…. I do get it that God sees knows loves ….sometimes we need it in flesh though….thanks for a space to share….
    And ….my daughters name is Jaime I spelled hers with an e threw in an i and they get it wrong at Starbucks every single time

    • jami_amerine on February 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

  3. Candy on February 19, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Love this post!!! Jesus knows me this I

  4. Glenna McKelvir on February 19, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Ah yes… Caracas!

  5. Ashley Wengerd on February 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    We have a guy in our church who has a similar issue. He goes by “Wally”, but his name is actually Nathan. His middle name is Paul. When he was in high school, a guy jokingly called him “Wally” (for whatever reason), and the name stuck. Everybody calls him Wally.

  6. […] My post yesterday had me thinking about another aspect of my time in Venezuela and an open-air hotel room on the coast. […]

  7. Edith Ohaja on February 22, 2017 at 2:43 am

    I do wonder often too, “How does God keep track?” I guess that’s why He is God, almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful. Nd He knows each of us by name, has our hairs numbered and all… Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • jami_amerine on February 22, 2017 at 2:54 am

      Thank you!

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