I have always loved names and coming up with names. I can remember back to when Jeremy and I were dating, on a cold, boring Wisconsin night that we sat in the rec hall at our University and came up with a slew of names for our future kids. I smile thinking back on that memory, and that Jeremy graciously humored me and played along. Just in case you were wondering, Justus Zafer was not one of the names on our list that night. But his name is really special to us, and I wanted to share the story of why with all of you today.
I never realized how scary choosing your kids’ names actually was until Bug was already forming in me. I had been excited about naming kids for ages, and then realizing that the name I gave this baby was going to have a huge influence on his life suddenly made the entire process a lot more daunting! Jeremy and I made the drive from PA to DC asking ourselves “Will this name work at Harvard? In the NBA? As a writer? Does it have any potential cultural nuances that will limit him? What kind of things can he not do with this name?”
We wanted the name to have a meaning that was special to us, but also to be unique and something we really liked. And, in case you haven’t guessed yet, Zafer is Turkish. We wanted him to have a name that would allow him easier access to a culture and country that we love. So . . .
the pronunciation: Justus Zafer = justice – za-FAIR
the meaning: Justice will be victorious. Justus = justice/fairness; Zafer = victor
why we love it: For Jeremy and I, this name is special because it signifies what constitutes our hope here on earth. We know that we live in a broken world. It has frightened me at times, realizing that I am bringing a precious little boy into a world filled with hurt, hate, and heartache . . . injustices. And yet, we have a hope – a confidence – that one day, justice will be victorious. We know that because of the Cross, because of the price that Christ paid to ransom our souls, He is one day going to claim dominion over the entire earth. We look forward with joyful anticipation to that day, and in the mean time, we work to reflect Christ’s justness here on earth. It will never be perfect until He comes and makes it perfect, but we press on because all that He has done for us compels us to do what little we can for Him.
We have no idea what role Justus will play in God’s story, but we are praying now that he will be a catalyst for Christ-like justice. And regardless of what he does or doesn’t do, he will forever be a reminder to us of the hope that drives us on, that compels us to love our neighbor and do good to those around us, to live Christ in a hurting world. He will be a reminder to us that we can live like this, because ultimately, justice will be victorious, of this we are sure.