Sunday, September 19, 2010

White Stones...

God gives you two names: yours and God's. That is why we end most prayers with the phrase "in the name of."

Listen for that place deep within where God has revealed to you that secret name that lovers reveal to one another in intimate moments, where God has told you who God is for you. It could be unlike anybody else. You receive and reflect a part of God that no one else will ever reflect. You receive and reflect back to God a part of the eternal mystery that no one else ever will.

Where God has given you God's intimate name, you can also receive your own deepest name. It takes awhile; it takes some listening, some silence, some suffering, probably. It takes some waiting, desiring; it takes some hoping. But finally we discover that place where we know our secret name, our deepest identity, our real “name” in God.

I hope someone has given you freedom and permission to trust your own inner experience, to listen and to live from this place where God’s name and your name are the same "I Am." That is the only goal of all religion: to finally join Jesus in trusting and saying that "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).

Adapted from Radical Grace, Daily Meditations, p. 291, Day 304

This is scary stuff. We mustn't misunderstand what Fr. Richard is trying to say here. Scripture is full of these callings-out, markings-off, re-namings. Ezekiel 9:4, Matthew 16:18, and especially Revelation 2:17. We are not who we think we are.

CS Lewis once wrote: "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption."

Our new name is not less than this. It may be much more. But at the very least our new name calls us out of our ordinary assumptions, and shows us for the children of God we actually are. And that in itself is deeply scary to beings who are used to commerce and sleaziness, sickness and success. None of those things, none of the things we measure ourselves and each other by will last. They will be burnt away, every one, and then where will we be, standing in the wind on the shores of all eternity, clutching our white stones...?


  1. We might be coming from two different points of thought here, and that is interesting in itself.

    The secret name that God has revealed for me tells me that He has always held me close, He knows me intimately, knows the goodness He has created within me and trusts that His love is enough to transform me.. for Him..

    C.S Lewis's thought remind me that our lives here are ephemeral and that our joy is that of the eternal bliss we will later share in heaven.

    Interesting post...I really enjoyed it!

  2. Oh, I think we're in agreement, ultimately, DG. But you're right, we are coming at it from different angles. That secret name holds God's mercy in Christ, and our white stone is in the end all we need. But though we stand as children of God, always held close, as you say, in all his love and all his grace, still all we are used to in our everyday lives - except love - will pass. But those white stones will not, for in the end nothing "in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Thanks be to God!