I love watching stories with my children. It is amazing to see how they process the scenes and get moved into becoming the characters in the movie. For the last few days we’ve been sucked in by the 2004 classic “The Incredibles”. The kids love it.
Liam identifies with the boy in the family. His name is Dash. He gets his name from his incredible speed. Every now and then Liam will run as fast as he can and shout, “I am Dash”. Every now and then he will stop before the running, turn to me and ask, “Daddy, what is my name again?” I will remind him that he is Dash. After hearing his name he will give a small jump and commence his super fast running routine. This little sequence has played itself out in a continuous loop for the last few days.
I also have times where I have to stop and ask, “Daddy, what is my name again?”
This concept of having a name runs deep in the narratives of the Story revealed in Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago Lollie and I watched a fantastic documentary that was aired by the BBC five years ago. It is called “The monastery”. In it five men volunteered to spend forty days in a Benedictine monastery to see if the rule of life of this community can mean anything for their “real lives”.
In one of the most striking scenes one of the monks give a white stone to one of the participants in order to remind him that he has a special name that is only known to God and that one day that name will be revealed to him (Revelations 2:17).
Liam shows the importance of being reminded of our identities. In a big way churches who go by the identity Christ-ones are people reminding each other of their true names.
As I’m typing this Liam has his Hulk mask on. He will wear many masks through his life. So will I. And life is a winding journey of stepping closer towards that moment when our true selves will become evident. As May Sarton states in her poem “Now I become myself”,
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Liam challenges me to have regular pauses wherein I ask “Daddy what is my name again?”