I have this misty image that is always with me. I am a young child, and I have a fever. In the delirium of the fever, when consciousness is swirling between dream, sleep, and wakefulness, I hear a voice that seems to come from a distance, from an unseen and unperceived source. It comes from somewhere beyond the swirl in my mind. I’m only vaguely conscious of the swirl, since I am caught up in the fever and simply living in it without will, being carried along on its waves.
The voice seems the most familiar voice in all the world; and it’s a loving voice, comforting, soothing me in my fevered confusion. Though not quite asleep, not quite awake and not quite aware, still in that dimness I can hear the voice saying only one thing — my name.
“Fred… Fred… Fred.”
Finally I am aware enough to know that it’s my mother, speaking only my name. I can only barely comprehend who she is, but it doesn’t matter that my mind can’t grasp the fullness of who she is, because her voice is enough, just saying my name, and by her voice she sends peace into my fever
That image has stayed with me all these years, and more and more it has grown in me that God speaks in us in this way. He speaks out of a mist, out of the unknown, out of the unfamiliar, as a distinct voice and within all the other voices.
From Him we hear our “secret name” that no one else can hear. Each of us, in the center of our own existence, where no one else can be, is intimately alone with God. And the reason hearing our Name is secret is because He speaks our Name in the secret place, where only He and I are, and we cannot speak of that place, nor describe it.
When we hear Him, He is calling our names from out of the mist of the confusion and chaos of the world. When He says our names, He speaks our individual lives into existence.
“Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.”
He has spoken each of our names from eternity. He has seen each of us in His mind and heart and desired to live in the midst of everything that we are, by walking in us and being our God. And so with the force of a billion-megaton atomic bomb, in a rushing heat of eternal Divine desire, His Love spun the universe out of His Word. He did it so that He could fulfill His own pleasure, by being the fire in our inward parts, the light in our minds, and the love that comes out of our deepest center.