Do you have an unusual name? With a name like mine, (Mebane McMahon), mispronunciations are common. If you are from North Carolina and travel I-85, you may know there is a town by the same name of Mebane. According to the town’s website, Mebane is “positively charming”. I resemble that statement, by the way. Still I get called all kinds of things. Mee-bane seems to be a favorite which makes my skin crawl.
Some mispronunciations are more innocent; while others are downright funny. My children’s favorite came years ago from a telemarketer calling on our land line who asked for “Mebalina Macmohoney”. I was also deemed “Mebalina Margarita” by some church members who appreciated my ministry around specific frozen drinks at the local cantina. When a Conference executive who didn’t know me very well once tried to send me an email with Conference information, he accidentally sent it to Me-babe. When I sent it back to him with the comment, “laughing out loud”, he assured me it was an auto-correct accident. He was so embarrassed and apologetic, I believed him.
However, I think I have now heard my favorite. Owen is the 3 1/2 precocious son of my new Associate Pastor Chris. Owen and I are just getting to know each other better. Also a native of North Carolina, his father insists on Owen using proper titles for people in authority. So I have been introduced to Owen as Pastor Mebane. However, Owen can’t yet pronounce my name correctly. Do you know what he calls me? He calls me “Pastor Heaven”. Between us, I will never correct him.