The waitress who served Mom and me at her favorite diner is named Sunday (long “a”). Curious, I asked how she got the name. She told me her grandmother had named her…and until years later, she hated the name. “I grew up in the 70s. Can you imagine? Kids were ruthless.” When she was old enough, she started going by her middle name–Denise. She said that name kept her out of the principal’s office.
When Sunday’s grandmother was dying, Sunday spent some time with her. Finally, she asked her: “Why did you name me Sunday?” Her grandmother’s response: “As Sunday is holy to God, so are you holy to me.” Sunday teared up. “Since that moment, I have loved my name. I’ve done some hard living in my life, but now I know I’m loved.”
As a pastor, I’ve talked with many, many people who do not feel loved–by God or anyone else. Not believing they are loved often has dire consequences in people’s lives. If only people–every person in the world–knew they were loved? The world would be a happier, healthier, much more whole place. If I had only one prayer to pray, it would be this: that all people would know they are loved by God.
After talking with Sunday, I wrote this song, “Precious.” I dedicate to Leelah Alcorn and to everyone who longs to feel accepted and loved for who they were created by God to be.