Ewan's Name

E - W - A - N

Our son's name is Ewan Eliezer. When considering baby names, girl names came so easily. Boy's names were much more difficult to come by. There were any number of reasons why the names that were suggested just weren't a good fit.

We were driving home one day when I asked my husband again for John's (as in the apostle John in the Bible) name in the Greek. John, the friend and disciple of Christ, is my husband's favorite person (Christ excepted, of course) in the New Testament of the Bible. We were searching not just for a name that sounded good, but for one with significance to us as well. There's nothing wrong with "John", of course, but I wanted something unique: a name unlikely to appear more than once on a classroom roll call.

John in Greek is Ιωαννης, or "Ioannes" (Eo-wan-es)

That sounds a lot like "Ewan," I said. I wonder if Ewan is a derivative of John?

We Googled it and sure enough, Ewan is a Scottish/Gaelic form of John. Not to mention, it was the first name that both of us liked. We loved the sound of it. It had no negative associations (an repeated reason to reject other boy names in previous conversations). And believe me, we had been through some names.

The middle name had been chosen long before this conversation: Eliezer. Eliezer is Abraham's servant, mentioned only once by name in Genesis 15. As servant to a master without children, Eliezer once stood to inherit his master's fortune. But when Ishmael and later Isaac were born, Eliezer no longer stood to inherit. But he was still faithful to his master, and to his master's children. In Genesis 24, we seem Abraham sending him on a journey of a few hundred miles (on camel, I tell you -- on camel!!) to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac, a duty he discharges with great discernment and without an ounce of selfishness. We love Eliezer's faithfulness, his humility, his obedience, and his servant's heart.

The signficance was reason enough to give our child this name. When at the first ultrasound, we clearly saw boy parts, we said, "We have a Ewan!" And if you're here, then you probably already know that this is also the day we found out about his congenital heart defect. We were already facing a dramatic change by inviting a child into our family, but you can imagine how much more this news changed things for us.

It was weeks later that I looked up the actual meanings. There are some variations, but these are the meanings that we first found. Because we chose Ewan as a version of John, I looked up the meaning of John. It means "God's grace." Alternate meanings we found were "youth" and "warrior."

But wait. It gets even better.

Eliezer means "God is my help." God is my help.

I got chills when I put those meanings together: Ewan Eliezer -- God's grace and God is my help. We did not choose this name. Sure, we had discussions, we poured through lists, we pilfered through a hundred suggestions. But this was not us. God, who knew this child before we did, chose this name.

And so there could not be a better name for him.