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It was very important to both Russ and I that our child’s name be a name that not only did we both like, but also something that had significance to us, and a significance that we could pass on to our child. A name with meaning.
In discussion of our baby’s first name, my husband wanted to have a Biblical name. I, not so much. I didn’t mind our child having a Biblical name, but it wasn’t that important to me. It seemed that Bible names fell into one of two categories… 1) the common names (and what I felt having grown up in a Christian-saturated environment, highly overused names) like David, Daniel, Luke, John, Matthew, Timothy, etc) and 2) the uncommon (and what I felt were uncommon for good reason!) names like Mephibosheth, Methuselah, and Zaccheus. When my husband first suggested Ezra I dismissed it as being in the #2 category…too different for my liking. I kept trying to suggest other more “normal-sounding” names like Alex, Landon, and Austin, but Russ wouldn’t have them…he really liked Ezra. So I started considering Ezra and trying to think up middle names to go with it. My top choices were Ezra Alexander and Ezra Scott. But I still wasn’t convinced of the name choice.
But early one morning we were standing in the middle of the kitchen and one of us (neither of us can remember) said “What about Ezra Kurt?” I’ll get to the middle name in a second, but it was in that moment that something in my heart melted, and I knew that was the perfect name for our son.
“Ezra”, in Aramaic, is “עֵזֶר” (ezer, “aid”, “support”, “help”; “helper”). What is further interesting is that, when I conceived of our first child, we had picked out the name Lazarus to use. When I lost the baby, even though we didn’t know if that child was a boy, we set aside that name for that angel baby, and I didn’t feel comfortable using it again. Lazarus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Eleazar. The meaning of the name “Elazar” is “God (אֵל, el) helped (עָזַר, azar)”. So the names are very highly connected and have the same word “ezer” (or “azar”) as the root. In a way it’s almost like using the same name, while still using a different name.
The final aspect of significance is of much more of a somber tone. During Russell’s deployment to Afghanistan, he lost a friend who’s name was Ezra. Ezra was KIA on January 17, 2009. Russ and Ezra had been roommates in the barracks before Russ and I got married. Naming our son Ezra is a way not only to honor SGT Dawson for his sacrifice, but also to remind ourselves, and our son, of the brevity of life.
Kurt is my brother…and Kurt is Russell’s best friend. Two reasons right there. Kurt’s friendship with Russ was the main reason Russ and I got together in the first place. (For more on that, read Our Love Story) Thus…since Ezra’s very existence is all Kurt’s fault can be attributed to Kurt’s influence, we thought it fitting that we name our son after him. But it doesn’t end there. See, Kurt isn’t really named Kurt. Kurt is his middle name, which he goes by because he is a jr. His name is actually Kenneth Kurt, after my father, who is also Kenneth Kurt, who is named after his father who’s name is just Kurt (no middle name). Thus, Ezra is named after not only my brother, but my father, and my grandfather.
What makes it even neater is that Ezra is the first grandchild to my father, and the first great-grandchild to my grandfather.