Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What is your name, please

Ann, no Claudia, no Sharon (er Shannon -- uh, Shawn).

We are now into it. This week I am graduating from strictly moving to unpacking and working. I am at the point where I feel consistently stupid, so many details to learn, computer programs to learn, files to find -- I already set off the security alarm; it won't be the last time. But the details are the easy part. As clumsy as I feel now, in a few weeks all that will be easy.

The hard part is learning the names.

I love ready science fiction/fantasy and over and over books talk about the importance of names. There is the public name (and right now we are all putting on our best public faces and names if we can). But, the true names call out the true essence. If you know something's true name, you have power over it. That is ridiculous at one level, there is no magic in this. But, at it's core knowing someone real name is everything. It is where ministry really happens. In a church of fifty people there are fifty people in crisis. There are a hundred and fifty gifts waiting to be let loose. If God has our secret names written in The Book, it is the magic of being known that is written. If Jesus had any power, it came from knowing people and also knowing God's name present in that place.

Right now everyone is nice -- they tell me that it is ok for me to forget a name. They joke and tell me that there will be a quiz at the end of the day and laugh. But, under it all they want me to know them, or, they don't want me to know them. They want their name to be the one I remember and at some trusting point, to know a deeper name -- to see them, to call them out, to send them forth. It all starts right now with getting to know a city full of names.

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