In the Hebraic tradition a name is more than something that sounds nice. It carries with it a person's reputation and prophetic calling. Because of this, Devin and I invested a great deal of prayer into our new baby's name.
One morning, Devin made a proposal, "How about Aviel*?"
Avi meaning "My Father" and El meaning "God," together this name means "My Father is the Lord"
"I think one day He might need to know God is his father." My wise husband said.
We prayed about it together and over time we saw the Lord's great provision in our lives for our baby. Whether it was generous finical gifts from other, or a home stocked full of baby supplies, we could see the Lord providing for us and for our new son.
One Shabbat service, after receiving a tremendous gift from a friend, Devin stepped up to testify to God's goodness in giving us everything we needed for the baby. With boldness and confidence, Devin said to our congregation, "God is His father." In that moment, we both knew Aviel was to be our baby's name.
Since his birth, knowing that God is his father has kept our hearts at peace as we have had some difficulties with Israeli bureaucracy in finalizing some paperwork. Not only will his name serve as a reminder to him, but it also reminds us of who he belongs to first and foremost.
While I was pregnant, I would often have conversations with people who liked to point out our baby's lack of "Jewishness" since I am a gentile (although in the bible the lineage runs through the father). I would regularly offer protection over his heritage by reminding others that great kings descended from a gentile, the Moabitess, Ruth. One of these kings was a man after God's own heart, David, meaning "Beloved."
King David is described in the bible as being "ruddy and handsome" with ruddy meaning red. As Aviel was just barely making his first appearance, the midwife assisting in our delivery offered a joyful description of his crowing head.
"He's a gingy with curls!" she giggled.
Israeli's love red heads! Its a rare hair color here, so they radiate with excitement over children with red hair (even adults, as I would know from experience!). Aviel's red hair has blessed my heart. Its given me great joy to see our neighbors, friends, and complete strangers delight so much in his gingy locks. It is as if his red hair is a crown of anointing from the Lord.
I wanted to bless my beautiful gingy son with the knowledge that the Lord's plans for him are great in the Land of Israel, even if the state will not recognize him as Jewish because of his gentile mother.
Together, Aviel David speaks a blessing over him that "he may know the heart of his Father, God." We daily pray for him to walk intimately with his Messiah and Savior all the days of his life.
*Aviel is pronounced ah-VEE-el.