• Eirenicole

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? 150 150 Nicole

There is the waking mind (rational) and the sleeping mind—more powerful, the sleeping mind sees deeply to the heart of things… “If you understand a thing, can you describe it…Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of people. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. But, a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself. Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself…but, there are other ways to understanding!” ~ in Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind.

There is a “split between words that describe the world and reality…through generalities and abstractions, and words that express the world…by entering it, participating in it by metaphor and command.” Scientia (description) versus sapientia (wisdom)… “wisdom is intelligence that comes from the heart, which can only be lived personally in relationships.” ~ Eugene Peterson

A rose by any other name?…

Words, names have power.

If I know your name, I better understand your pain, or relief, or joy, or fear. To fully understand a thing, I must know how to call it, what to name it. Then, I might see the world behind your eyes…. To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…. A name does more than identify one as so-and-so. To name is to bless (or curse), the profound effect of which cannot be measured. In our digital world, one’s “identity” is reduced to data. Step away from the digitized and speak the name of another. Know another. Bless another.

Walk- be baptized- be cast out- be healed- in the name of Jesus (Acts)

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18.10)

You are one reason I am who I am. We are always giving and receiving form. When we encounter one another, we impact each other—whether for formation or de-formation. We mold each other with our words—whether spoken or unspoken. We speak to each other’s heart, soul—whether with our mouths or with our eyes. Or just by being present.

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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