In the brick wall of a big old house in northern England lies a secret. It’s been lying there quietly for over forty years, undisturbed, just waiting to be discovered. The secret is a small piece of paper- folded carefully, and most probably faded. If you were to find it, and unfold it, you would see a name. It is mine.
I was about ten years old when I wrote my name on that piece of paper and stuffed it in between the bricks of my bedroom wall. I wanted it to be found, years and years later, by someone who would wonder about me: who I was; where I was; and what I was doing now.
I wanted to be known.
I’ll never forget the day, not too long ago. when I sat with my son to watch the little one minute video, created by Zondervan, to promote my first children’s book. I remember squealing with delight as my name floated into view.
Even more exciting was the day I saw my name written in bold font, proudly displayed on the front cover of the book.
And only two weeks ago, on a golden October morning, I was thrilled to add my name to the visitor list at HarperCollins publishers, and even more thrilled to see the name of Lee Strobel written above mine.
And I think about my need, our human need for our names to be known, our names to be recognized; our presence to be heard in this world.
I think about all the names carved on benches in parks, and on trunks of trees; on public walls, and inside prison cells. I think of the names we discovered on our living room walls in England, hidden beneath wallpaper, scratched years ago, alongside faded potato prints that were used to decorate homes during the scarcity days of the second world war.
And how our names, etched and carved and written in a myriad of ways, and in a myriad of places, all say:
I was here.
We all yearn to be known.
And we are.
My name, your name is recorded in a far more wonderful way, and in a far more wonderful place than one written on a piece of paper hidden in a cavity; or one carved on a tree trunk; or one printed on the cover of a book.
Paper disintegrates. Trees are felled. Books go out of print.
But somewhere, in a marvelous and mysterious place that no eye has ever seen, written in permanent, never-to-fade, glorious, indelible, and eternal ink- is your name.
It is written forever on the palm of One who knew you before you were even born.
I am known.
You are known.