I was on the train just the other day. I had been up since 3:30 that morning and was tired. I had on a bulky winter coat, which if you know me, you know that I’m not too fond of coats. I was carrying two over packed large purses and was wheeling around a suitcase larger than I’m accustomed to when I travel. I had adopted a man who spoke very little english as my companion, as he needed some help finding his train stop. I was also on my phone keeping up with the friend who was picking me up once I arrived at my final destination.
As I was guiding my companion, I bumped into a trash can which caused my perfectly balanced purse atop my suitcase to fall jerking me and stopping the foot traffic flow of the busy train station. My coat then caught on something and I barely made it through the gate allowing me to get to the train. Once I made it to the train I sat down. I took up two seats and part of the walkway with all of my belongings. I smiled at my fellow travelers seeking to charm people enough to keep them from noticing my crazy. The train was nearing my stop so I got up, positioned myself to get off the train and dropped my ticket. I stooped over to pick up my ticket and my purse fell off my shoulder causing some of it’s contents to fall out. I smiled and apologized to those watching my personal train wreck. No pun intended.
It was my stop. I reminded my fellow traveler where he was to get off and gave him a map so he could have a visual aid. (I wonder if he made it?) I gathered my things, wove my way through people, knocking several with my large purse and I think I may have run over someone’s foot with my suitcase. I apologized to every person as I walked passed them, assuming I had bumped, run over, scraped or touched them.
I completely invaded the personal space of one woman and received quite the communicative look. Words were not necessary for me to know the truth of her feelings towards me at that point. I apologized and some how made it out the doors of the train, only to drop my ticket one more time.
Relief! I made it. I gathered myself and my things and made my way to a pillar out of the way so I could regroup.
I needed to find my grounding not only physically, but I had given myself so many names in the course of those moments that I needed to introduce me to myself again and reminded me of my name. Cari, I’d like to introduce you to you. You are a sane, beautiful, capable, royal, daughter of a King. You are a part of a royal family. My heart which had been racing found calm as I melted into the identity of my name.
Names are powerful. I give myself names often during each day. Some are humorous, some are filled with such deep truth that when I use them I walk taller, I breathe deeper and know calm. Then, there are the names too often used. The names that shame, constrict, cause me to hide and keep me from life. They are the names I assume others are calling me. They are the names of the accuser.
That day on the train I went from Cari the traveler, adventure seeker, obedient follower, daughter, and friend to frazzled, clumsy, annoying, unattractive, stupid, lost, crazed, and a sorry excuse for a person with in a matter of minutes. The accuser loves to give us names. It is, I believe one of his greatest efforts. And our effort is to say no to each name given and cling to belief that in Jesus we are whole, a new creation, intentionally made, a part of a royal family, a person belonging to God, a person of innate worth and true beauty.
What names do you call yourself? As you go throughout your day today, pay close attention to each name you use to identify yourself. Does the name breathe life or does it accuse?