I was rushing to go to downtown today to be a panelist on a thesis presentation. You see, Downtown Manila is all about narrow one-way streets, pedicab drivers loitering by the nonexistent sidewalk, pedestrians who imagine the asphalt road as their sidewalk, tricycles maneuvering to make U-turns and lefts at their own whims, and fruit vendors on their wheeled cartons. Now these are stuff that immobilize unexperienced drivers such as myself. The little smarts in me thought that it’s wise to chart my route way ahead of time. So yesterday, I made a mental map on where I’d make my turns, and more importantly where I’d park.
My mother goes to the local Catholic church on Wednesdays for Bible study, and its spacious lot seems perfect for my drive-reverse stunt. It was actually my mother’s idea when I told her I’d drive to Manila instead of taking the bus-LRT-pedicab-walk commute which I had predicted would stress me out like last time. She told me to mention the name of the husband of her friend who is an active member of that church, if not an elder or a major donor. I presume they wouldn’t be there at church, but they should be renown enough that their names hold such a steam of influence. And surely, when a guy in T-shirt, whom I would assume is a parking attendant, walked to my parked car as I rushed to alight, I blurted, “Kay Brother XXX“. And with that, I was a fairy in wings who just sprinkled magic dust in the air with her morning breath. I brisk walked past him and he nodded in acknowledgement.
What happened today made me think about the power of a name. It can surely let me park for six hours without pay. Then I’m reminded of those days when I had dropped our boss’ name so I’d look cool in front of colleagues from the same industry. Or when I introduced myself as my brother’s sister so they’d acknowledge my existence at a church event. Well, the farthest my 31-year-old name went was getting a free box of tikoy (sticky rice cake) when my sister bulk-ordered from a bakery owned by a friend. At least my name’s sticky!
There’s this story about a soldier whose servant is sick. He didn’t want to bother the Master Healer, and He’s busy for sure. So he said that it should be enough that He say something and the sickness would be gone. The soldier knew the power of a name as he himself is in a position of power and can command a troop with just a seal of his name. This time, it actually was effective and the Master Healer commended the great faith of this soldier on His name. Luke 7:1-10 is more than just a story from the ancient days. It’s a Bible passage that is proof of the power of Jesus’ name.
I end my prayers with “In Jesus’ name” as though it’s like a signature on my email messages. It’s a template I’ve known to use ever since I learned how to pray. I just didn’t realize how much power that holds. If I had, I wouldn’t be worrying ten thousand thoughts after I had cried them over to God. If I had really believed in the power of Jesus’ name, my Amen would be a very loud resound of an advanced thank you for what would be coming my way.
So IN JESUS’ NAME, my unbelieving younger sister wouldn’t be a wanderlust in this world, my other younger sister wouldn’t be hypnotized by the charms of this world, my father would be at peace in his heart, my mother would have everlasting joy, my older sister would walk her talk in the Spirit, my older brother would have the spiritual leadership of Moses, my extended families would be out of poverty, and myself would grow in maturity in His will and grace. In short, my whole family will belong to God’s household, AMEN.
–March 3, 2014