At 1:06 on Sunday morning, Meg and I welcomed into the world our new son, William Coats Eldridge. The Lord was evidently merciful throughout Meg’s pregnancy and during the delivery. Things went as smoothly as we could have hoped for. Since his birth, William has been a delight to be with. We also think he is stunningly handsome (Note that he looks A LOT like his mama).
To help announce his birth, Meg asked me to write a blog post about why we named William “William”.
There are actually numerous people we love named William, but there are two people that we specifically had in mind when we named our son.
Meg’s granddad, William Westcott (or “Pop” as we all knew him), was a particularly joyful man. As long as I knew him he had a simple but sincere faith in the Lord Jesus. Often he would tell me, “I have two songs stuck in my head at all times. One is ‘Arthur Murray got me dancing in hurry.’ And the other is, ‘Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.'”
Last December, after several months of decline, at the age of 93 Pop went to be with the Lord. Meg and I both had the privilege of speaking at Pop’s funeral, and now we are privileged to commemorate Pop by naming our son William.
The linchpin, however, for giving William his name was our teacher, doctor, and friend William Cutrer.
Dr. Cutrer (who I’ve briefly written about before) was a professor at Southern who was called to ministry while practicing as an OBGYN in Dallas. He ended up at Southern teaching counseling and ethics classes, while also serving in the seminary’s health clinic.
In the fall of 2011, both Meg and I enrolled in his Marriage and Family Enrichment course, which he taught with his wife Jane. We benefited much from our time in the classroom with Dr. Cutrer. His wisdom, experience, honesty, joy, humor, and love for Jesus made the class highly impactful.
Not too long after that class, Meg and I started to visit Dr. Cutrer regarding our inability to conceive. Dr. Cutrer specialized in fertility, so he was an enormous help. Month after month of failure to conceive was made bearable by Dr. Cutrer’s deep sympathy and Spirit-wrought gentleness. My eyes brim with tears as I recall the way he expressed Christ-like tenderness during times of frustration and pain for
us. He also made key sacrifices so that we could visit him in the clinic on weekends or his off days. Some of these appointments were the most crucial in enabling us to conceive and William to be born. I could go on and on about ways that he served us which truly modeled the love of our Lord.
On the morning of Saturday July 13th, Meg and I were at Home Depot working on a project for our kitchen. Suddenly, Meg got a call from one of our close friends relating that Dr. Cutrer had died earlier that morning during a bike ride. As you would imagine, we were filled with all sorts of shock. We awkwardly finished up at Home Depot and wept our way home.
Over the next several days as we continued to mourn his death, Meg and I increasingly realized how much Dr. Cutrer meant to us. He was the first spiritual mentor that Meg and I shared together. He was a rare combination of compassion, joy, and boldness in the Lord. He had an exemplary and delight-filled marriage that we saw on display. He was honest inside and out about the realities of life and discipleship to Christ. He had a sincere and infectious love for the Lord Jesus.
That said, when Dr. Cutrer died we immediately became honored to name our son after him.
Here’s to William taking up Pop’s and Dr. Cutrer’s legacy of devotion to Jesus and love for people.