what’s in a name?

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

My dad was born in South Carolina, and named Wallis Cone Metts, Wallis Cone after the doctor who delivered him.

I was born in Ft. Myers, Florida, and also named after the doctor who delivered my father. Actually, I was named after my father. I’m pretty sure that’s what my mom had in mind.

And when my first son was born, 31 years ago, we named him after the doctor who delivered my father too. Sort of. My middle name was a little too weird, so we named him Wallis Christian Metts.

And we called him Christian.

Today his son was born. Wallis Christian Metts the Second. Or Junior. We’re not sure how that works.

And they plan to call him Wally.

That would be four generations of Wallis Metts’, and the third to be called Wally. And I have to say I’m a little proud. With six grandkids now, this is the first boy to carry my last name. And the only who will carry my first name.

And while we are happy for all our grand kids, and love the girls as much as the boys, and love the Keisling boys as much as the Metts girls, it would be difficult to deny that this is a special honor. And a humbling one.

I watched him sleep a few minutes this evening, on Facetime. Katie will go out to see him in a couple of weeks, but it may be this summer before I hold him. Seattle is a long way away.

I also called my Dad’s brothers to let them know Dad’s name continues.

And I prayed he will carry the name well, not so much for my sake but for my father’s sake, a faithful preacher of the gospeland one of the most gracious men I’ve known. Perhaps that’s because my father’s heart rested completely in the grace of God.

Socrates once said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” Dad didn’t desire to appear anything. He desired to be someone, and that by the grace of God. He was who he said he was. More than that, he knew something few men knew in his day— how to love unconditionally.

My son Christian already knows something of this. And I hope the new Wally learns from his dad how to love sacrificially, speak graciously and serve willingly. I hope he will appreciate his Dad as much as I did mine.

It will be a good thing, then, for there to be another Wally Metts in the world.

It will be a good thing.

7 thoughts on “what’s in a name?”

  1. love this! there needs to be more Wallys in the world, on campuses, in communities, in careers…speaking great words. thanks, as always (God bless your new grandson!)

  2. What a special moment for all of us to get the great news that little Wally was born!! Seattle is a little too far away, but thank goodness for the age of technology. He’s a beautiful baby!! I have copied your well spoken blog post, which brought tears to my eyes. We so well remember your wonderful father and praise God for this new little Wallis Metts who will share in the legacy of godliness.

  3. Great read… I knew your father when he was pastor at Calvary Baptist in Englewood, and pastored in Bradenton. Bill (1970 SAC grad)

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