Thursday, February 06, 2014

Naming

 
 
I have just finished re-reading Madeline L'Engle's book A Wind In The Door.
It is the sequel to her Newbery award winning book A Wrinkle In Time.

Have you read either of the books?
She was a Christian and her semi-science fiction genre books included a lot of Scripture and theology.
Pretty amazing how deep she went, especially since the books were written for children.

In Wind in the Door, her main character Meg is teamed with a cherub in a battle against a Shadowing/Evil that is impacting the physical life of her six year old brother Charles. 

Meg and the cherub Proginoskes are tasked with naming.
Early in the book Proginoskes shares that at one time he was tasked with naming all the stars in all the galaxies.
Meg asks why that would be a needful thing to do.

He replied:
"If he calls for one of them, someone has to know which one he means. Anyhow, they like it; there aren't many who know them all by name, and if your name isn't known, then it's a very lonely feeling.

Later he added:
"When I was memorizing the names of the stars, part of the purpose was to help them each to be more particularly the particular star each one was supposed to be."
Isn't that profound?
By being named, known by a name we become more particularly what we are supposed to be.
Given names
Nicknames
Titles
Each make us more ourselves don't they?

Later still there was a discussion about evil.
"I think your mythology would call them fallen angels. War and hate are their business, and one of their chief weapons is un-Naming--making people not know who they are."

How does one get named?
Love.
That's what makes persons know who they are.
An old proverb said:
A  much loved child has many names.
Oh how true that is!

Naming a leaf, a galaxy, a blood cell, a sparrow, a hair or a snowflake...
He calls all of His Creation by name.

That idea astonishes me.
Not only does God create each snowflake, each leaf, each person,
He calls them by name.
Size does not matter.
Where does not matter.
He can hold both the universe and the DNA of a single cell in His hands.
He named Day, Night, Sun, Moon, Man, Woman.

A poem in the book concludes:
I fill you with Naming.
Be!
Be, butterfly and behemoth,
be galaxy and grasshopper
star and sparrow,
you matter,
you are,
be!
Be, caterpillar and comet,
be porcupine and planet,
sea sand and solar system,
sing with us,
dance with us,
rejoice with us,
for the glory of creation,
sea gulls and seraphim,
angle worms and angel host,
chrysanthemum and cherubim
(O cherubim)
Be!
Sing for the glory
for the living and the loving
the flaming of creation
sing with us
dance with us
be with us
Be!

I photographed these snowflakes using a regular (non-LED) flashlight, shining the light through a sheet of ice that was shattering atop a glass table top.
The ice was not totally clear; as I worked at taking photos I fretted about that fact.

Only after I saw the photos on my computer did I realize what the uniqueness of the ice brought to the photo.

The snowflake photos were not crystal clear.

There were scratches and lines.
The flakes seemed like they were being viewed through embryotic fluid.
Found and lit in a secret snowflake nurturing womb.

What name has been given to this one?
Even though the flakes are mysterious and unclear,  I find as I look, I begin to love each one.
 

Both A Wrinkle in Time and Wind in the Door also featured a heroic character named Calvin.
That's a name you don't hear much anymore.
Funny how after re-reading the books I found myself loving the rarely heard name...a lot.
 
And I have found myself loving the name of our grandson Calvin; loving seeing him in this scratchy unclear photo as well.

He too has been named; he too is loved.
Calvin Bruce is his name.
Bruce after his maternal grandfather, and also his uncle's middle name.
Calvin...just a name that Jeff liked.
A good strong man's name.
His being was announced to us last October.
 
This total surprise text message photo was sent to us while we were in San Diego visiting our parents.
I yelped when I saw it...and had the pleasure of showing the message to Bernie.
Luke is seated between his father's two childhood Cabbage Patch dolls.
Jeff re-received his Cabbage Patch "sons" at Luke's baby shower.
A cosmic cryptic thing that Jeff had two Cabbage Patch brothers to love as a child?
(And isn't it weird how much Luke looks like one of the dolls right now?)
 
The great grandparents heard the news in person at Thanksgiving.
We celebrated the new family size on the beach.
And now everyone in that circle is being called by name.
 
Sing for the glory
for the living and the loving
the flaming of creation
sing with us
dance with us
be with us
Be!

Be with us, dance with us too
We call you by name now:
Calvin!
 
 
 
 

8 comments:

ellen b. said...

Very cool...a little brother and another grandson on the way! Congratulations.

Vee said...

Sigh. Deep happy sigh. Too beautiful for words!

Lorrie said...

"To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40

To think of God Almighty as Naming is one of my favorite and most reassuring thoughts about him. A beautiful post, Jill. With a happy announcement. God knows all of us by name.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Happy news indeed! Thanks so sharing it with us. Most special. Congratulations.

Lovella ♥ said...

Such a wonderful way to think about naming. I can't even begin to comprehend God knowing every name of every person...every thing.
He knows Calvin's name too. What a blessing!

Sara said...

What a beautiful piece of writing this post is, Jill! I love everything about it and the way you tied it all together. Congratulations too, on the new baby, Calvin, already named even before he has emerged from the womb! Wondrous indeed is our God and so is this life He has arranged for us all.

Julie said...

I love love your snowflake photos..I think I would love a wallpaper of them!
And congratulations on the little one coming!
Nothing God creates is without value or purpose, is it....and how much is in a name when God gives it.
Here we often share a name with others, but one day God will give each of us a 'name' that no one will know but Him and us.

PS.Ohh.. Jill, how deep is the snow on your driveway??? :-)

Anonymous said...

I love this! Calvin was my maternal great-grandfather's name, and the name appears often in my family genealogy.

Vicki