There is something about the name Susanna. I just love it! Black-eyed Susans grow abundantly in Virginia where I grew up. I remember them as cheerful little flowers that steadily bloomed, giving us their happy color most of the summer. My friend Susanna, visiting us in Paris from Virginia, is very much like those yellow flowers - fun and happy and continually blossoming with encouragement and cheer.
Seeing her reminded me of her namesake - Amanda Susanna Boccanfuso - our yellow Labrador. From the start, I knew that this little black-eyed butterball puppy was Susanna. Her sunny puppy disposition recommended her to us as a lifelong companion. And as her name promised, she cheered and bloomed perennially in our home for many years.
Names can be important. Names can help identify one's spiritual nature and bring it out.
After selecting Amanda Susanna from the litter, we visited her often before finally bringing her home at 8 weeks old. She was clearly our puppy from the start. Once we named her, she knew who she belonged to. She gleefully trampled her brothers and sisters, scrambling to the top of the heap to greet us every time.
During these visits, we learned her siblings names, one by one, as they found their way into the hearts of their new families. By the time of our last visit, all the puppies, except for one, had been placed. The last remained unchosen and, consequently, without a name. I learned that people had come to see him, but no one had yet claimed him.
I told the breeder, "He needs a name." She explained that it was their practice to leave the naming to the new families. I told her I understood, but that I felt that if they discovered his name, his real nature would show better to prospective owners and he would make his way home.
My breeder was a Christian Scientist and very familiar with the Bible. She knew with what great care names were given to people in Scriptures. Name changes sometimes followed spiritual growth and character reformation. The naming of children was fraught with spiritual significance.
In Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she wrote, "Spirit names and blesses all. Without natures particularly defined, objects and subjects would be obscure, and creation would be full of nameless offspring, — wanderers from the parent Mind, strangers in a tangled wilderness." (p.507)
When I pointed out that determining his name might help the little fellow express more of his God-defined nature, the breeder said, "That's fine. You name him."
And I immediately said, "He is Salvatore." The name popped into my thought and it stuck. He was a pale little buddy and reminded me of my father-in-law, - a kind, gentle, quiet man. After, I learned that the name originally meant savior.
We took our puppy home that day and never saw Salvatore again. But I heard later that the breeder referred to him by this name during the next visit. When the wife heard it, she exclaimed to her husband, "Why that is your Grandfather's name! We have to take him!"
Loved on the spot, seen for who he was, Salvatore was scooped up and taken to his home.
Does your name have special meaning to you? Or have you ever given a meaningful name to someone?
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no