“She stood beside him, looking at the brilliance of the stars. Then came a sound, a sound which was above sound, beyond sound, a violent, silent, electrical report, which made her press her hands in pain against her ears. Across the sky, where the stars were clustered as thickly as in the Milky Way, a crack shivered, slivered, became a line of nothingness…
‘Progo, what is it? What happened?’
‘The Echthroi have Xed… Echthroi are always about when there’s war. They start all war… one of their chief weapons is un-Naming – making people not know who they are. That’s why we still need Namers, because there are places throughout the universe like your planet Earth. When everyone is really and truly Named, then the Echthroi will be vanquished.'”
In Madeleine L’Engle’s fantasy book A Wind in the Door, two of the main characters, Meg and Progo, are sent to fight against the evil Echthroi, creatures whose primary weapon is “un-Naming.” Meg and Progo are called as Namers, which Progo explains by saying, “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. That’s basically a Namer’s job.” Namers save by knowing who each person is and meant to be.
Names usher forth meaning and significance.
Into the original void God spoke creation. He named it, and it was so: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.”
Ann Voskamp states, “This naming is how the first emptiness of space fills: the naming of light and land and sky. The first man’s first task is to name. Adam completes creation with his Maker through the act of naming creatures, releasing the land from chaos, from the teeming, indefinable mass.”
Like Meg and Progo in A Wind in the Door, and like Adam in the Garden, we are meant to be Namers. We have the joy and responsibility of calling others who they truly are: sons and daughters of God. We get to speak encouragement and truth, assigning dignity to each person and seeing everyone in the image of God.
Yet we can only be Namers by knowing that God has called us by name too:
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made’” (Isaiah 43).
This is the identity that I want to point to: the one in Him. Only a present God, a God whose name is I Am, enters into our struggle as we pass through the waters and gives us meaning.
What name do you speak to yourself most often… is it the true name of son or daughter of a King?
Who needs to hear you speak their true name today?