What Is My Name?
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
A beautiful human corridor of what looked like a hundred children greeted me and my friends as we arrived at Berachah Children’s Home in India. Freshly scrubbed little ones dressed for school formed two lines near the front gate, creating a passageway onto the property. Excited voices called out in welcome, many children holding chrysanthemum garlands to drape around our necks. It’s a big deal when visitors arrive at Berachah. As my eyes swept across the sea of faces, one in particular caught my eye. A young boy was at the front of a line waving directly at me, trying hard to get my attention. Once I focused on him he called out, “My name is Lokesh!” And then again, hand to chest, “LO-KESH!”
I couldn’t help but admire his determination! With a wave and a smile I walked on. Continuing through the precious greeting party I met one child after another at a fast pace. The air vibrated with anticipation of our week ahead. It was going to be a great time! Smiles flashed and brown eyes shone. I wanted to learn each name. Could I do it? Suddenly, a familiar face popped into a new space in line. Was it him?
“I am Lokesh!” The boy reminded me. Both hands were on his chest now, and he had turned up his volume. “Hello Lokesh! I’m glad to meet you!” I responded, suppressing a chuckle. Again I walked. Face after face. A boy. A girl. Tall, short, long braids and short crops. Each one a unique, eternal person. My arms ached to take each child into my arms, impossible as it would be in the moment. I had a week. I hoped it was enough time but knew it really wouldn’t be.
Nearing the end of the lineup, there he was for a third time. That eager, determined face. Waiting. But this time he had a new line. “What is my name?” he asked plaintively. “Your name is Lokesh. I will not forget.”
Heather with Lokesh (in her left arm) and other boys at
Berachah Children's Home in India.
Isn’t that what all of us want? Someone who knows our name. People who value us just as we are, and stay alongside. For many orphaned and abandoned kids in the world, this is an unknown luxury. Many children who make it to the safe haven of Berachah Children’s Home either never had a name or don’t know what it was, so that’s the first gift they receive on arrival. These children long for loving adults who will care. Who will know their names.
Today, will you care with me? Will you please send a year-end gift to Children to Love? When we really care, the world changes. A warm meal and a clean bed become great miracles. The smallest gift can do great things.
I remember you, Lokesh.
- Heather S