By Name.


It’s strange, but I’ve been thinking this week about

Judas, Hitler, and Genghis.

Those three guys are so notorious they only need one name.

Like Hannibal, Nero, or Saddam.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine wielding so much power?

Channeling it to such misguided purposes, and to such infamy, that future generations would abandon the use of your name?

Can you imagine becoming a near-eternal symbol of humans at their worst?

– – –

I can’t.  But I don’t have to.

I’ve never had my name “retired”,

like Stalin, or Mussolini.

I’ll never have to worry about sticking out with such damnable distinction.

I’m just one of the crowd, along with every Tom, Dick, or Harry.

Every Laurie, Tonya, or Mary.

One of the crowd.  The faceless crowd.

Lining the streets as Jesus carries his cross.

– – –

My moniker may not be synonymous with evil,

but on this week, I can’t help but be mindful that there is darkness that lurks in my soul.

Even mine.

And as Jesus passes by, he sees me,

and sees into me.

And I shudder to realize

that this man

knows everything I’ve done.

He knows,

and he knows me

by name.

Despair Or Hope Directions On A Signpost

The Names of Things


In Genesis 2, God gives Adam the task of naming all the animals.

It was our first job.  The primary thing for us to do — to give and keep track of the names of things.

If that job falls now to me, God must be disappointed.

I’m not very good at noticing my surroundings, and I’m terrible at identifying things:

Birds, trees, flowers?  I know a cardinal, a weeping willow, and a rose.  That’s about it.

Clouds?  Automobiles?  They’re both pretty much a blur to me as they pass by.

Constellations? People? So much of the time I can’t seem to pull up the names when I need them.

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around without my glasses on — only dimly aware of the world around me.

I want to see more clearly. I want to know more names of things. Not just because it’s my job, but because it’s the world I live in.

I want to pick up one of those twirly helicopter seed pod things, and be able to tell you the tree it came from.

I want to meet a person once, and then meet them again 3 months later, and be able to call them by name.

I want be able to tell you the names of all the different birds that have come to our feeder, not just the cardinals.

So how does a person learn to do that? Perhaps faith can help.

2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds me that “we walk by faith and not by sight”.

My faith tells me that God placed the spark of life in all the creatures around me.  That God somehow helped form and shape the world I live in.

It is faith that reminds me that the more I know about God’s creation, the more I know about God.

And so, I rededicate myself to the task of naming the world around me,

learning as I go, knowing that God…

is in the details.

Have a great week,


Helicopter Seed Pod