Honoring the Nameless (2)

Honoring the Nameless (2)

“What is your name, that we may honor you?” He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding… It is a name of wonder.” (Judges 13:17-18)

Hallowing and honoring God’s name is a dangerous business. We could easily delude ourselves into thinking that we are on a strictly first-name basis with the eternal Godhead! Truth to tell, God is an unfathomable mystery to us mere mortals. If we remove the mystery hidden within God’s vast existence, our quest for the transcendent Truth of the world is gone. God is a person with self-revealed names, to be sure, names that are rich, accurate, necessary to begin our understanding of Him. Descriptions understandable to humans, though, cannot fully represent an everlasting Creator Spirit. His names are merely snapshots of a handful of facets of a diamond larger than the universe.

God is who He is, He will be what He will be… beyond our comprehension, the center of creation on whom all things depend; a mystery surpassing the reach of our minds; greater than all reason and knowledge; impossible to describe in His ultimate  nature. Anything we are blessed to see of him are the merest of hints, barely audible echoes. The Godhead is truly the Nameless One.

So let us lift both hands to honor and revere our God. On the one hand, it would be disobedient to refrain from hallowing His name, looking at Him intensely, paying attention to those qualities of His that are within our reach. But on the other hand, it is also true that we need to rest in God’s mysterious namelessness, surrender to his essential transcendent nature. While concentrating on God’s known particulars, let us not lose sight of the unknown Whole of His Being.

Trained wilderness trackers call this wide-angled view the “relaxed vision,” the perspective that is able to scan the whole field. This type of vision sacrifices sharpened clarity on the details in order to enjoy a breadth of awareness that is able to get the big picture. In God-centered prayer, both focused vision on His revealed Personhood and relaxed vision of His ultimate nature is vital. Sometimes words are adequate during relaxed vision, but often it seems that we can only echo Job’s words, “I am unworthy… My words have been frivolous, what can I say? I had better lay my hand over my mouth.”  (Job 40:4). Whether with words or without, relaxed vision involves child-like trust in his mysterious nature. Assuming the words below are inadequate to the task, may they nonetheless lead the reader into a wordless union with the nameless God, in whom we live and move and have our being.

O God, Ground of Being, Ancient of Days. What a glorious and wonderful mystery you are! In your mercy you have revealed yourself to us in names and places, through word and experience. Yet there is so much more of your life that is hidden, and I kneel in awe before you. You are marvelous beyond my understanding, supreme beyond my scope. I accept that I am only on the outermost borders of your ways, Lord, the mere fringes of your essential existence. Even so, this is enough for me. My limited glimpse of your power and purity is sufficient to seek you. The faintest whisper of your eternal voice is enough to guide me to your love. And so, Triune God, I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a little child resting in his mother’s arms. Like a weaned child is my soul within me. I know only the smallest fraction of the Reality of your Being, Lord, but I put my hope in you, from this time forth and forevermore. Amen.


One Reply to “Honoring the Nameless (2)”

  1. Love these thoughts! Truly can appreciate the vision of my Abba, Daddy, while also revering Our Great Father in the most awe-inspiring way!
    Thanks for your prayer too, Steve! I will be re-reading it often!
    (I’m a friend of Sheri! 😊)