Judson is an extremely uncommon name. If you were to look at any list for the top 1000 boys’ names in the United States, there will be no record of the name Judson.
So how did we choose the name? It actually wasn’t because of some deep, meaningful connection. It simply came to mind randomly one night while I was pregnant (we had known a friend with the name) and we both immediately fell in love with the idea! We thought it was a good masculine name, yet uncommon without being bizarre. Almost instantly we determined if our baby was a boy his name would be Judson. Drake and I never wavered or questioned our choice of our boy’s name for the several months leading up to Jud’s birth.
And now, in the wake of his death, Jud’s name encapsulates his identity. Though Judson’s body may be gone from this earth, his name remains as the symbol of his life, his character, his personality, his uniqueness, and the hole he carved out in this world. His name represents the soul that lives beyond his body.
I was recently reading a book about heaven and the author, Randy Alcorn, fully expects we will maintain our earthly-given names when we enter eternal paradise. He notes, “People in heaven are called by name—Lazarus (Luke 16:25), Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11)—the same name as used on earth…our name denotes a distinct identity.” I find it noteworthy that the same name that carries our legacy on earth also represents our personhood in heaven too.
Obviously the name “Judson” is hugely significant in our hearts.
Therefore, when riding home on the train today I was shocked to discover that a little 8 year old boy sitting next to me was named Judson. Jessie and I had randomly found ourselves in the seats adjacent to his family after moving from another area. I heard his mother and brother call him by name and thought, “Did I hear them correctly?” Sure enough, I struck up a conversation and discovered that I was indeed sitting next to a “Judson”.
I was drawn to this boy for the rest of the trip; he uniquely shared what has become the most central representation of my beloved boy’s identity. Ultimately, I was blessed to see that Judson Hally was a sweet, kind, bright little guy who certainly did justice to the name.