Friday, January 28, 2005

My Name

I just thought I share this little journal entry from last week. It was a fantastic experience so why not share it... *****

A few years ago I was watching a TV show. A talk show I think. And the guest was some kind of psychic type person. I think it was a woman. It was a while ago so I don’t remember exactly. But I do remember something she said. Something, like… there are no coincidences. So if you need clarity. If you’re looking for a message from the other side, turn on the radio. The next song you hear will contain the answer.

This morning there was no traffic. It’s Martin Luther King Day. I got to Kearny Mesa in 40 minutes. Half the time it usually takes from Vista, and 30 minutes early for work. The sun was out and magnificently blazing. The radio said it was going to be in the low 80’s. I figured after all the rain we’ve been having that this warranted a stop off at Starbucks for a Grande Vanilla Latte. As I placed my order the girl asked my name. I told her. “Wow, that’s a really cool name. I haven’t heard that one in a while.” “Thanks,” I said, not thinking it was such a big deal. I’ve had it all my life. I was named after my mother so to me it’s hardly original.

As I got in the car, I thought about my name. It doesn’t say a thing about me really. I looked up the meaning of it once on some website that purports to tell you the origins and meaning of your name. “Creative Spirit.” Okay, I’m a writer. I fancy myself creative. And I have a deep passion for the spiritual. I guess I could buy that. Then another time I looked up the meaning of my name from different source and it said it meant “basket weaver.” Basket weaver! That’s a far cry from Creative Spirit. Not nearly so lofty. But the only psychic I’ve ever consulted (on whim during a day at Venice Beach) did tell me she saw that in past life I lived on an island were I was weaving baskets. So that might mean something, if I actually believed in past lives.

But still as I backed out of my parking space at Starbucks I thought. My name can not be my real name. Even when I hear people say it, sometimes I don’t feel like they are talking to me. It sounds strange in their mouths and even stranger in my own sometimes. Really, no one’s name really describes who they are. Michael. Nope, doesn’t say a thing about his soul, his struggles, his dreams, his fears or his love. Nothing. Even people with meaningful names like “Imani,” “Hope,” “Aisha,” or “Felicity.” Those names are more a reflection of their parent’s prayers and beliefs than they are of the person who bears them. So what name really describes us?

On Star Trek (TNG, I think) there was an episode where an alien race had no “names” because their names were in fact a recounting of their entire history. So introductions could end up taking weeks. I don’t think that’s what I’m looking for. But then again, in a way it is.

As I turned from the parking lot onto Clairemont Mesa Blvd, I realized that I wanted to know my true name. The appellation that speaks of my entire history, my purpose, my weakness, my strength and my eternity. The secret name that belongs only to me. My God Name. The name that God gave me when He thought me up. The one that I have had since time began. I will finally answer to that name when He calls me. And I felt at that moment a pang of sadness. Because I realized that I would have to live the rest of this life without knowing my own name. Only on the day of my death would it be spoken. And it seamed like such a lonely journey from now until then. And then what if it turns out it was my plain old name all along? Or worse… what if it really is Basket Weaver? Worse still what if I have no name?

And then a song came on the radio. Seal’s “Love Divine.” The piano in that song is so beautiful. It quieted my thoughts and pulled me in. Seal began singing as if in mid conversation…

Then the rainstorm came over me
And I felt my spirit break…

His sadness echoed what I was feeling. I sang along in the moment, not thinking ahead to the chorus.

I had lost all of my belief you see
And realized my mistake
But time threw a prayer to me
And all around me became still

Yeah time is like that, I mused as I sang with him. It’s a healer alright.

I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name.

And now I have lost my breath. My unspoken wish granted in the words of a song. God heard me. He does have a name for me. His divine love will help me to know it. And I won’t have to die to hear it spoken.

Through the rainstorm came sanctuary
And I felt my spirit fly
I had found all of my reality
I realize what it takes

I had to blink back the tears. A huge smile covered my face as I drove. “You’re pretty clever,” I whispered to God and laughed. I felt like I was flying.

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, loves is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I don't bend [don't bend], don't break [don't break]
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name

Funny how the words of a song can do the praying for you. For me this is not just a garden variety love song to another person who brings love and meaning to your life. This song is a prayer to God. And one that I was trying to pray at the very moment I heard it. I need only live by His calling to be what He wants me to be and He will be with me. He knows me. By name.

Well I try to say there's nothing wrong
But inside I felt me lying all alone
But the message here was plain to see
Believe me…

I am reminded that no matter what happens to me, no matter how lonely it gets, I can never pray alone. God is not just the listener. He prays along with me in a way. Adding strength to my pleas by His own ineffable love. And knowing that and feeling it is how faith is born. It’s what it means to be known and loved.

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh don't bend [don't bend], don't break [don't break]
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name
Love can help me know my name.

Amen to that brother.

January 17, 2005


Dex2177 said...

Well wrapped up.

(...his arms opened wide at Tanagra... lol ;-) . It's like Vanilla Ice: everyone in their mid 20's knows the words and no one will admit it ;-).)


Girl With An Alibi said...

Ahh... a closet Trekkie, or is it Trek-er? Well...what's in a name?