Day 21- what’s in a name?

Day 21 – What’s in a name?

Isaiah 43: 1-13

for wally


About 8 years ago, I crawled into a local church in dire straits…an appropriate if overused metaphor, for indeed, the terrain I was treading was to become quite  treacherous. My life was suddenly, painfully broken open and the horrors of a lifetime can rushing over the breach in my defenses. A flood of despair swept over me. All around me I saw nothing but suffering and devastation. For years I journeyed in this land, certain I wanted nothing from it but to get out…out of life itself.


The pastor of this church, after having heard the beginnings of my story, slipped me a card one evening very early in that journey, after the Love Feast, which I had observed from a distance from my seat in the balcony overlooking the festivities….outside looking in at this feast of Love.


Today the passage he wrote on the back of that card appears here in my daily reading….



O Love, it is true! You have brought me from that place of pain and despair to this one of rich blessing. O Love, we did not drown! We weren’t burnt at all!


Yet it is not at all as if You picked me up and plunked me from that place into this. No. I stand in the midst of the very same terribly beautiful life and I see all around me streams overflowing with goodness and flames blazing with light….these places I walked through (albeit sometimes kicking and screaming) and dwell in with You. The scenes of my life have not changed, it is my eyes that have changed.


O Love, Our life has been blessed! The dross, consecrated, even as it was consumed, leaving this gold in the ashes. The rocks sanctified, the rages hallowed, even as they left in their wake these treasured gems. How precious am I to You. O Love, how precious are You to me.


O Love, You have gathered me in—from the north and the south, from the east and the west— no part of my life, no part of my being, beyond Your embrace. And in that embrace, my ugliness is received as rare beauty. You peel back my hands to behold that which I have wanted to cover. That which I thought was shameful and inadequate, You perceive as more precious than the mask I had worn for the world.


O Love….


I AM your witness. Only by Love is my existence made perfect. Nothing else can make my life whole. Nothing but Love can make of this terribly beautiful journey a blessing.


You, who knew my true name when I called myself something other-than-blessed. You, who never saw me as anything else. O, it is not as if You looked past my blemishes and flaws to the treasure beneath. No,You beheld even them as rare Beauty.


Love, I am Yours.

You have called me by name (v 2)—- I am called by Your name (v 7)

Your name is Beauty — mine is Beautiful

Your name is Love — mine is Beloved

Your name is Desire — mine is Desirable

Your name is Wonder — mine is Wonderful

Your name is Mystery — mine is Mysterious

Your name is Compassion — mine is (com)Passionate.

Your name is Peace — mine is Peaceful

Your name is Holy — mine is Holiness


O Love. There is none but You.


Rejoice, rejoice! Immanuel shall ransom captive Israel.


ps….this reflection may be read mutually….from you to God, from God to you….imagine that!… just how might God be needful of your Love, needful of your seeing God as Beauty?


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