Adam “Umialikaq” Thomas London
For this journal entry we are to reflect on our name.
I was born as the first boy in my family; the Adam if you will. If it was good enough for God, I’d say it’s definitely good enough for me. “From the earth,” or “man,” or “first man.” My pastor friend, Wass, always pronounces my in Hebrew (ah-dahm). As a child I knew many other Adams. I even had one year in school that there were three of us in one class. I don’t know as many today. Adam Wilson and Adam Ellsworth are the only ones that come to mind. In any case, it is a good name.
I was given my Inupiaq Eskimo name, Umialikaq, by an elder in Atqasuk (Shirleen’s Aaka). It either means “boat captain” or “king.” I think Aaka meant it to be the boat captain. Funny that I don’t really know how to drive a boat yet…I just know how to paddle. More importantly than literal meaning, apparently Umialikaq was also the name of one of Aaka’s grandfathers. That means I was named after an Eskimo man from at least 4 generations ago. How different life must have been on the North Slope before white men came! I wonder if Umialikaq knew the Father and Son Creator spirit that Maniilaq taught about.
Thomas has a rich history as well. My grandmother wrote down the history for me once, but I can’t recall it exactly off the top of my head. For sure I am at least the 4th generation in a row to have the name Thomas. My son is also named Thomas, adding to the tradition.
London is an interesting name as well. There are not many of us around. At least that’s what I always thought. Facebook has since taught me otherwise. :-) For some reason, other Adam London’s like to ask me to be their friend. There are dozens of us. One Adam London is even a rocket scientist. As far as I know though, I am the only one who is serving in a pastoral role.
It is interesting to think about how a name holds so much of our identity. And yet, the most important part of my identity is that I am a Christian, and I am Heaven bound. I wonder what our names will be like in Heaven.