30 Oct 2014

today, my children's names remind me of greater things

There is this conversation Jesus had with a woman of questionable repute. As the man, Jesus starts the conversation off (because if he didn't, it would not happen because women back then were basically second class or even property).

If I may, this is sorta how it went:

J (very tired): Will you give me a drink?
W: What? Are you crazy? You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan*. We don't get along remember? How can you break the rules?  
J: If you can see past all that, you will know I can give you a drink that truly settles your life's thirst.
W (eyes J carefully): hey, how you plan to get water, you didn't bring a bucket. This well was dug centuries ago by Jacob. Our ancestors drank from it. Are you greater than them? 
J: this water relieves thirst but doesn't satisfy and overflow from your life.
W: sounds good, Give me some, coming here is really a lot of work. 
J: Go call your husband.
W: I have no husband! 
J (smiles gently): you are accurate here. You have had five husbands. The man you are with now is not a husband.
W: You can tell... some sort of prophet huh? Then answer me, who is right? Where is the right place to worship God? Did the Jews or the Samaritans get it right? 
J: The place is no longer the issue. Listen, salvation will come through the Jews as God planned; but it's for everyone. God the Father is Spirit so those who worship him must do so in spirit and in truth.

Fifteen years ago, we talked about having children. The hubs was not keen; but I was pretty set on the wonders of having children and very excited about being a mother. We agreed that he would take some time to pray about it. He came back with a rather nervous demeanour but conceded that children are accorded worth, purpose and glory in the Bible. Our baby girl was conceived the following month.

The point that Jesus made in that conversation captivated me. Many of us by then are pretty jaded about where the world is headed; and not a few friends have sworn off having children. But there is this: there is a group who seeks and responds to God - and they do so not depending on tradition but by being animated by spirit and truth.

I am a huge fan of tradition in many ways; and call people to return to a historic, tested faith. But there is also this: every generation will have challenges that must be confronted and it requires a move of the Spirit that emboldens and an anchorage in the Truth so they won't get swept off their feet.

My firstborn bears the middle name Spirit-of-God ~רוח אלוהים
Six years later, the son enters the world with theTruth enfolded in the middle of his name ~אמת
People name their children for many reasons:
popularity of the name
in honour of family members
expressing aspirations
a sense of the child's destiny

These middle names I felt inspired to include were more like a proclamation. I wanted to shout out: Spirit and Truth!

Interestingly, many days, these two Hebrew words shout back at me, holding me up against the Light~

are you guided by the Holy Spirit or relying on your own past experiences and success?
are you seriously seeking the truth or will you get lazy nd gloss over stuff?

I never get past these questions. Even now. I need to prepare talks and sermons. I mentor. I need to make decisions and respond to the decisions others make. Will it be in Spirit and Truth?

The thing about growing older is you lose confidence in the right places.

When I was younger, I said, "Lord, lead me in Spirit and Truth!" because I didn't know very much anyway, so I needed to be led; and honestly I did not see much of what was coming!

Now, I cry out, "Lord, blanket, build, bolster, barricade me..." for I know much more; and it's mostly about how easy it is to stray into Self and falsehood. 

I guess the real stuff becomes all the more precious when you see how frequently the counterfeits are traded around, when you have hurt and been hurt because the Spirit and the Truth were absent.

Perhaps lift a prayer for me please: I am feeling a great need to remain in, dig deeper, be defined - by Spirit and Truth.

You too? Share with me in the comments so I can pray for you too.

*the story is found in the Bible in John chapter 4. A Samaritan is part-Jew so rejcted by the pedigree Jews.


  1. I love the way you interpreted that story in my modern day language. Cool! I get it even more now and the comment about lead me in spirit and truth, right on target. Thanks and praying for your tools and strength to dig deeper than you could ever imagine. Peace

    1. HI! thank you for letting me know that. may your sense of peace increase as you keep following! Your prayers are SO appreciated.


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