Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why We Honor the Name of Charlotte Moon

How did you choose your children's names? This was a big challenge for us before Esmé was born. I had very stringent criteria - not on the top 100 list, not belonging to anyone I know, must have a nice meaning, and shouldn't be easy to make into a playground taunt...

Today's guest poster is Jennifer Sabin from Family Musings. Here her husband shares the meaningful story behind their beautiful 1-year-old Charlotte's name.

Charlotte “Lottie” Moon was born in 1840 to a wealthy Virginia family. Her mother encouraged her education and although it was unusual for a woman of her time, Lottie learned eight languages and earned a Master of Arts. Lottie’s intelligence and sense of humor attracted the attention of a Harvard professor who asked her to marry him. But Lottie turned down marriage and spent her life as a missionary to the Chinese people.

Single women were not usually sent as missionaries, but Lottie believed there was no barrier too great for God. She found financial support from Baptist women in Virginia and she moved to China. She served through three wars. During the Boxer Rebellion, she disguised herself as a Chinese man and snuck behind enemy lines so she could minister to suffering people. Later, during the Chinese Revolution, she took on duties as a hospital administrator when she found a local hospital had been abandoned by fleeing doctors.

Lottie spent her life trying to make the glory of God known. She worked tirelessly, and she wrote letters home encouraging more Christians to take seriously the call of Jesus to demonstrate God’s love throughout the world.

After the Chinese Revolution, a famine struck China. Lottie continued to put the needs of others above her own. As she saw people starving, she gave away all she had to save them. She spent the last of her own money buying food for others; she gave until she had nothing left to give. As she slowly starved, her Christian friends grew worried about her deteriorating health. They tried to send her back to America to recover, but it was too late. On Christmas Eve of 1912, Charlotte Moon died; she weighed less than 60 pounds.

But, that ending is not sad or tragic because Lottie did not really lose anything. She lived looking toward eternity, and now she lives forever. She lived and died believing the words of her Savior who promised that God sees our actions, knows our hearts and rewards those who love him. Lottie lived the command of Jesus: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life” (John 6:27).

We chose the name of Charlotte Moon for our daughter because we pray our Charlotte will have the same wisdom, strength, determination and faith as her namesake. We pray her name will be her constant reminder of the singular focus that should drive the Christian life. And we pray her name will also serve us as a constant reminder of our role as her parents—to teach her to love God with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind and all her strength, and to love her neighbor as herself. Whether God calls her to live that love in a far-off land is His choice.

Bruce & Jennifer Sabin

First posted November 27, 2007


dani said...

what a lovely, thought provoking post. your little charlotte has alreay received a tremendous blessing:)

sheila said...

very, very nice post! wow

Prasti said...

great post!

my sister in law was named after a Christian missionary, Corrie...but the last name escapes me right now.

Heather Smith said...

Great post. When I chose my daughter Alaena's name, I looked up meanings too. I changed the spelling from Alaina to Alaena, but the name means "Little Rock". I knew that things wouldn't be easy on the road ahead, but I knew that God would give both of us strength even if the two of us would be alone. She has been my "Little Rock" of reminder that GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL despite how many times I've failed Him! Thanks so much for sharing this today!

Mbini said...

Funny I come across this. Me and my colleagues were talking about baby names. I am a mom of two and I gave both two names each. Very generous. My son is named in hubby's language and daughter in mine.

Find your post to be quite thought provokin gtoo today.

ps.was in search of Moz sites.

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

What a beautiful story behind the name.

Hippie Family... said...

Hi Esme -
Can you tell your mommmy that I found a great animal print to make some bag holders with and would love to donate a few. you say the word and I will set up whatever is needed and or ship wherever you want. I missed the "train" with Z's mom's shipment.

perilloparodies said...

I have always prayed and thought hard considering nameing our children... it is so important. I love the history behind the name you chose. May the Lord bless and keep your family... Mozi esme, sorry for the side note, but also wanted you to know... I am here and thinking of you. hope you are well. Merry Christmas!!!

Jennifer said...

I am glad you enjoyed the essay. Now, anyone have any tips on how to follow up for our second child?! Did we set the bar too high?