Naming the Holy

Naming. The power of naming. Using words to define, to give identity. We name people and items with words to define or identify. We have the power to name.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”  –Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind)

I have been challenged to begin a game of naming. I accepted this challenge…this dare. The rules: Every day begin to speak and write out the things I am thankful for. I will begin to name them. I will begin to name grace when I see it. I begin to name so that I see. I see because I name. Because the naming brings it to light. The naming breathes into it: Life.


It would be very easy to look at me, and say: “Of course you can name your blessings, your life is easy.” And to many that may be the case. But to me…my life is not always easy. Like many persons, I recently had the unfortunate experience of having my home burglarized. Furniture upturned. Clothes strewn across the bedroom. Precious moments, pictures, letters gone forever. The dog not where we left him. My personal world in the hands of a stranger. My personal in his hands. Before his eyes. Without my permission.

A hilarious thing happened: Our neighbors (whom we suspected) were evicted. This led to the landlords cleaning out their house…this led to….wait for it….that’s right: Our ottoman! We found some other things of ours as well. But of all the things to get back…that I never thought I would see again. That I was sure was sold or burned…our ottoman came home.

So began the naming:

Thank you for bringing something home to us. For the journey it went on and the fact that it remained when many other items did not. Thank you for revealing who stole and vandalized our home and for them having to move. Thank you for bringing the sunshine. Thank you for….

See here is the thing with naming….once you start…it’s hard to stop. Because if naming brings life. The naming is holy. Naming is Godly. Naming is walking with Jesus. Naming is seeing true love. Naming changes everything.

“Naming is Edenic.” – Ann Voskamp. I’m beginning to understand that words can be life giving. That they take us back to the Garden. They take us back to the beginning, they remind us of creation. He spoke and there was light. He named and created. He NAMED.

The garden. Communion. Paradise. Naming the blessings and truths of this world: Bringing restored Eden to earth. Causing Heaven and earth to collide. Accepting the love Jesus is lavishing.

And so I name. I name the good, the true. I name the holy. I take part in this holy act of naming so I might see. To see with holy eyes, the holy gifts, and so I may start living these holy days.




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