The White Stone
To each who overcomes,
I will …give a white stone with a new name written on it,
known only to the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17, NIV)
Imagine you’ve come to the end of your life. What are you expecting? I was brought up to expect judgment. The kind that points out how much I’ve failed, and assigns demerits for failures.
Will my failures outweigh the good? According to my childhood theology, that would be entirely in God’s hands. Woe to me if I fail to live up to expectations.
This made for a peculiarly nervous mode of life. Like nervous tics my failures sometimes seemed to have gained eternal life. Poking at me, cropping up at the most vulnerable moments, shadowing me like bad dreams. Casting a pall of loneliness around me and my closely guarded secrets.
I’ve been reading short excerpts from George MacDonald in the last few weeks. His comments about the white stone are nothing like my childhood theology.
The white stone and the new name are indeed God’s judgment. But with a difference. This is a judgment of grace. One white stone with a new name for each son and each daughter.
The stone with the new name makes visible what has already come into being. Not a hideous monster, but a breathtakingly beautiful daughter or son of the Creator. In fact, to receive the white stone with one’s own new name is the equivalent of ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’
It is only when the person becomes his or her name that God gives the stone with the name upon it. (George MacDonald: An Anthology: 365 Readings; C. S. Lewis, ed. (Harper One)
The secret name given only to me will capture perfectly what God saw in me from the moment I was created. Especially when I or others don’t or can’t see this. The name sums up the woman I will have become—through many dangers, toils and snares.
I can relax, take each day as it comes without a clear roadmap. When I get there, my Creator who kept faith with me will give me my white stone with my new secret name. One of a kind. I don’t need to keep asking “Am I there yet?” I’m already in good hands.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 March 2017
Image found at ahnsahnghong.blogspot.com
Quotation from the NIV
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Nervous