Of Names and Reeds

I’m so thankful for Megan: though she is half a world away, even still I can talk to her about how I’m doing spiritually, what I’m reading in the Bible, what I’m thinking about it. We have to use code words, but the accountability is still there. This morning was one of the few times we were both online that it wasn’t midnight her time, so we got to talk a little longer than usual.

This morning, as I was reading the Transfiguration in Luke 9, I was thinking about the parallels and nuances between “chosen” and “love” (you’ll have a seminarian out of me yet, Danielle), and the word “love” reminded me of my name. Several summers ago, I was the most dangerously depressed I have ever been, and I was sitting on a bus in Arizona on my last choir tour, listening to Chris tell the others about Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, and staring out the window. He knew I had read the book, so he would ask for details from time to time, but mostly I just listened. He got to the part where Ransom, who was in pursuit of the devil incarnate, was worn out and discouraged. God came to him and asked, “What is your name?” “Ransom,” he answered. God went on to say that Ransom was named that for a reason, as a reminder in his time of need that God gave his life as a ransom for him, and that Ransom’s life is not his own but God’s. Ransom drew strength from this, and rose on to continue his pursuit. Almost audibly on that night on the bus, God asked, “What is your name?”

Chera. Beloved. If I am loved by no one else, I am loved by God. And my name is a reminder (and enforces, to me, the importance of naming). That night a star broke through the darkness.

Thinking about that summer, and this summer, I thought more on my acquaintance with melancholy. Bruised hearts led to thinking of bruised reeds:

“A bruised reed he will not break,
      and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
   till he leads justice to victory. 
      In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 12:20-21

Which I later shared with Megan. We weren’t sure what to do with the word “till.” Perhaps by that time, the reeds will have healed, and the smoldering wicks will have reignited, and when justice comes to victory all will find fullness in Christ.

Ours is a God of hope.

2 thoughts on “Of Names and Reeds

  1. Megan says:


    And as I read this, I thought of my name, which, best I can tell, means “pearl.” The kingdom of God is like a pearl of great value, worth ridding oneself of all other things in order to acquire. And I am reminded of that very truth- that I must set ALL aside to proclaim the kingdom, all selfishness and conceit, willing to set aside all possessions.

    (Imagine your head on my shoulder when you need it!)


  2. Danielle says:

    LOL just remember Miss Chera…you are the one that helped start me on this path (I blame you completely….it’s about time I got some revenge).

    It really is amazing how God uses names (and changes them) to reinforce a specific message – I find great comfort in the meanings of my names.


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