Benediction [ben-i-dik-shuhn] - the advantage conferred by blessing; a mercy or benefit Our lives changed last September when we found out that Lindsey was pregnant again. It's not just that we already have two boys who keep us light on our feet, but after two pregnancies that came after long seasons of infertility treatment the news came as somewhat of a surprise. We had left the door open to have another child but by the sheer fact that we had spent three years trying to get pregnant with Jonathan and Will, you can imagine the startling excitement of it all.
When it came to names, we landed quickly on a girl's name but it took us awhile to find a name for a boy. We've always tried to connect their name to the place they have in God's story of rescue and redemption (here's what I wrote when Will was born - http://mattadair.typepad.com/communitas/2008/05/william-alan-ad.html) and this baby was no different. Honestly, I can't even remember when or where Lindsey came up with the name Bennett, but as soon as she found out that the name is a derivative of benediction, we knew it was a perfect description of our son. God had blessed us - abundantly and unexpectedly - with a boy whom he intends to become a blessing to the world.
We decided that Bennett would work better as a middle name so the search was still on for a first name. I was thinking about it later that night and suggested the name Charles. There's something sturdy about someone named Charles Bennett but it had two other points of significance for us. First, because it's the name of my grandfather, Charles Watkins Adair. With both Jonathan and Will, we had incorporated the names of men we respected and whose legacy we want our sons to continue. And there are few men I respect more than my granddad. But between uncles and cousins who have already been named Charles, I figured that train had left the station. But for whatever reason, as soon as I mentioned it to Lindsey, it was settled. And when we found out that the name Charles means 'free man', we had another reason to use it and after that there was no question that this boy was going to be named Charles Bennett Adair.
So, Ben, when you read this someday, you need to know that your mom and I didn't pluck your name out of thin air. God gave you to us as an unexpected blessing and has entrusted you to us in preparation of the life he has for you as a blessing to the nations. The size and scope and shape of how you bless the world is in God's hands, but know this - the good news we call the gospel provides all the resources you need to live out the freedom that your name implies.
I love you, Ben -- more than you'll ever know.