It is no secret that I love Madeleine L’Engle. In fact, I wrote a blog celebrating the anniversary of her amazing novel A Wrinkle in Time, which you can find here.
In the second book of her time quintet, the heroic and quirky Meg Murray discovers that she is a Namer. What is a Namer? Progo, the cherubim she meets in this tale, describes it as such:
“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. Maybe you’re supposed to make the earthlings feel more human…A Namer has to know who people are, and who they are meant to be.”
Over the course of the story, Meg discovers that the forces of evil at work, called Echthroi, destroy people and worlds by stripping them of their identity and their value. Progo again explains:
“War and hate are their business, and one of their chief weapons is un-Naming—making people not know who they are. If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn’t need to hate. 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.”
On my birthday, one of my friends who had just read this book texted me and told me that he thought I was a Namer. I don’t think I have had a better compliment given to me in my entire life. That is my heart’s desire: to truly see people as they are and as they could be, to call out the good with grace and to love them with the truth of who God says they are. I don’t always get it right, but that is my heart.
Naming is such a powerful thing, and I have been thinking about this idea pretty regularly since reading the book.
Do you want to know what I have learned and seen since reading it: It is the Un-Named that Un-Name others.
The Un-Named hurt others. The Un-Named use. The Un-Named abuse. The Un-Named bully. The Un-Named manipulate. It is the Un-Named that seek to rip people’s identity away, whether out of carelessness or spite.
We all have Un-Named people in our lives, and it is sometimes easier to reach for anger when dealing with them. We want to react. We want to prove our value. We want to get even. We want them to get what they deserve.
But…isn’t the greater truth that they deserve a Name?
Once you are Named, you don’t have room in your heart to hate. Once you are Named, you don’t have room in your heart for selfishness or cruelty, for envy or malice, for carelessness or pride. Once you believe who the Creator of the Universe says that you are, you are Named forever.
You are forever Named, forever Chosen, forever Accepted, forever Loved. You don’t need to scratch or fight or push your way into the limelight. You don’t need to trample over others or devalue them to get what you think you want.
You’re Named, and that is enough.
Let’s all be Namers. Let’s stop Un-Naming and start speaking truth to each other. Let’s hold onto each other, even when we are walking through the dark. There’s no need to trample. There’s no need to shove. We are all heading in the same direction. So, let’s walk each other home.
Let’s all be Namers.