Over the course of my life I have had a variety of names. At birth I was given the name Roger Charles Lynn (the middle name being my Dad’s middle name, and his Dad’s first name). Growing up (on those occasions when one of my parents was calling me to come home) I was often WarrenJenniRoger. In college I was a counselor at a couple of Outdoor School camps, and I was Sasquatch. For a few years I was Jojé (Philip’s French Uncle). To many folks in the churches I’ve served I was Pastor Roger (because when people called me Rev. Lynn I would look around for my Dad). In my Dances of Universal Peace community my Sufi name is AmiShanti (sweet nectar of peace). I’ve been a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a partner. But in recent years I have been given a new name which has come to mean a great deal to me. When I first got together with my partner, her grandkids decided that I needed a name (other than grandpa), so I became Sparkle. I didn’t choose it, but I really like it. It’s a delightful honor to be Sparkle as I share life with these wonderful humans. It has even jumped family lines, with two of my youngest daughter’s children also claiming the name for me.
This past week I have been spending my days with an almost seven year old and a one and a half year old, and it is time I wouldn’t trade for anything. There have been laughter and tears, quiet times and rambunctious times, hugs and sweet smiles. Being Sparkle touches something deep and true in me. It helps me get in touch with an important part of who I am. It reminds me that I am loved.
As I’ve mentioned before, my family is filled with wonderful people, and with the exception of my parents and my brother, none of them are biologically related to me. The love and connection I experience when I am Sparkle reminds me that love is vastly more powerful than biology. And for that gift I am forever grateful.