Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Name of Bob"

A couple of years ago the street that I live on lost it's best man. His name was Bob, and everyone would tell you, Bob was the heart and soul of the street. He was the guy who was always calling out a greeting anytime you left your house, or returned home. He was the one offering to let you borrow any tool he had--and I think he had every tool there was to have. He was the connection-really-for the whole street. Just about everyone could trace back their introductions to everyone else--through Bob. When Bob had his heart attack, everyone of us felt it. And when he died, he left a permanent hole in the connection on our street. We all said we wanted to be more like that Bob wasn't there to be himself.

Oswald Chambers, in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, says:

"Identification with the death of Jesus Christ means identification
with Him, to the death of everything that was never in Him."
(Dec. 8, devotional)

A funny thing happened after Bob died. I didn't mean to say it--at first--but I found myself, without thinking about it, saying: "name of Bob". It would just kind of pop out, anytime someone was about to do something on our street, that Bob would never have done. For example, we live on a one way street, and it's easier, when you live close to the "exiting" end, to cut corners, and just quickly shoot in-going the wrong way-to get to your driveway. No harm done. But once Bob wasn't around anymore, as our shining example, I found myself not wanting to "go the wrong way" even for a few seconds. So, when I say to my husband, just before he goes the wrong way down our one way street, "name of Bob", what I'm really saying is, "Let's honor Bob, by not doing anything Bob would not have done in our neighborhood." In that phrase, I am saying, "he was right, and I want to be more like Bob."

Sometimes it feels like the phrase "in the name of Jesus" has come to mean, "now you have to give it to me"...or maybe simply, "Here's the authority by which I ask for this". It just has me wondering, has the phrase lost some of its meaning over the years?

Of course there is every reason to recognize that-as the Bible says-there is power in that name which is above every name. But I think we would do well to consider that there might have been a more organic utterance of that phrase as well. One that calls on us to identify with who Jesus was-as He walked this earth-and to put to death in ourselves "everything that was never in Him."

So, when we are tempted to...

put ourselves first-("name of Jesus")

hold a grudge-("name of Jesus")

withhold love-("name of Jesus")

turn a blind eye-("name of Jesus")

go the wrong way-("name of Jesus")
whisper it to yourself...and what you'll really be saying is:
"I want to honor Jesus by not doing anything He would not have done in this life".
You're saying:
Jesus was right~beautiful~perfect~Son-of-God~Savior...
and I want to be more like Him.


  1. oooohhh, I love it! I can't really explain why, I'm not actually sure... but it's a sweet feeling... in the name of bob, in the name of Jesus... it gives me a standard, a rule of thumb, something practical to stand by. What a delightful story and such a powerful message... we are in control of doing right and we do it in honor of Him... for the love of virtue!

  2. I didn't know Bob but I do remember when he died and he does cross my thoughts on occassion. Funny thing is, I've though very similar things you said...even the cutting corners part!!

    Yes! Yes! YES! Isn't that exactly who we are in Christ. We weren't around when He walked this earth but heard about Him through others. It is because of those stories and examples in their lives that drove our curiosity to "know" Him. Yes, it is true that God is the one who does the initial drawing, but what a beautiful gift it is to others to actually "see" it in the way we live.

    Thank you Lisa for your inspiration and reminder for me to live as He lived, love and He Jesus' name.

    Thank you Bob, for your shining example :)