What’s in a name?

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.