“Hey Bud, what is your real name?” asked a heavily armed ‘official’ man at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.
Wendy and I were travelling to Guadelajara, Mexico’s second city. We had intended going on a holiday to Malaysia, but felt that instead, we should ‘give our holiday to God’ and serve Him elsewhere. A long story, but we went to Guadalajara, volunteering to do whatever was necessary, from cleaning toilets to preaching the gospel. (They were gracious, and did not invite us to the toilets).
We flew to Dallas, and then on to Mexico. But in Dallas airport, I was stopped. In fact, the official man was polite and friendly. My name? I am Barrie Lawrence. “Look on your boarding pass, Bud,” said the guy. And there it was – Barrier. And yes, everyone at airports had addressed me as ‘Barrier’. The guy asked me my second name. Richard. “They should have left a gap,” he said. “Between Barrie and R”.
So Barrie R Lawrence had become Barrier Lawrence. And still does, due to predictive text on my computer and mobile devices.
And when I mean to tell people I am going ‘daughtering’ (visiting daughters), they are sometimes informed that I am going slaughtering! And worse.
In Mexico, we helped people with their English, played football with the kids, saw a lot of people in a slum district come to faith, and witnessed a miraculous restoration of a deformed arm when we prayed for it. But that wasn’t us – that was Jesus. Quite amazing!
But ever since, I’ve tried to check my name when word processing – but I still miss it at times.
Have a great day.