In which I want to be a Namer
Madeleine L’Engle is breaking my brain.
After reading “Walking on Water” and having my faith-art-world predictably rocked, I determined to go back and re-read A Wrinkle in Time which, as any true reader will know, automatically lead me to A Wind in the Door. (And today, I have a date with the library to get A Swiftly Tilting Planet.) Despite my admitted math tragedies, the macro mathematics and time dimensions, the suspension of disbelief and modern physics in the pages are not what is breaking my brain.
It is the theology in these “young adult” books. Namely, naming.
In the pages of A Wind in the Door, Meg Murry discovers that she is a Namer. She must name people or objects in order to bring them to truth. When confronted with a greatly loathed Mr. Jenkins, her former principal now making her little brother’s life miserable by refusing to defend him against near constant bullying, she has to Name him to save him – and therefore, all of us – from destruction. She discovers that to Name him does not mean to call out his actual name, it means to Love him, to call him Beloved.
So here is what I am thinking, my friends: It’s a powerful thing to name.
I’d like to be like Meg and be a Namer, more than Louise the Larger’s calling as a Teacher.
At first I thought, maybe we could start with our own selves? Because we all know – or think we know – that when a thing is unnamed, it has more power over us. If it stays there in the dark, it stays shameful and powerful. So whatever it is, whatever it is that is shaming you, plaguing you, holding you, drowning you, putting the lid on the box of your true self, tormenting you, name it and give it Love for the freedom of letting it go.
Drag that Thing that haunts, kicking and screaming all the way, and throw it into the light, name it and release it. Call those things that are not as they should be and then limp or march or drag or run right on into that truth with me.
But then I realised that’s not really it, is it? But I would like to speak out our true names, seeing with the eyes of faith and love and mercy and grace, being the whisper trail of the Voice of life and freedom.
There are a million people that like to give us names. But….
Our name is not Failure.
Our name is not Slut.
Our name is not Worthless or Ugly or Fat or Lazy or Rejected or Lonely or Bitter or Angry or Abandoned or Undeserving of Love.
Our name is Precious.
Our name is Beautiful.
Our name is Chosen, Cherished and Created.
Our name has been pronounced, my luv, and we, we have been named Beloved.
See, it there? Tattooed in a heavenly scrawl on the palm of a hand and written on the stars, in every cell of your body, you can feel it pulsing in your aorta, in the feeling of every good and perfect gift in your life, that small, small taste of a great, big, messy, universe-wide of Love.
We are named because we have been loved by Love.
And it would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, to be a Namer, a co-conspirator of truth, reclaiming it all by naming it all Beloved?