What’s in a Name

“What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”

Far be it from me that I should disagree with Shakespeare, but a rose, I think, couldn’t be a rose if it were called a dinglehopper or a snollygoster.  It might smell the same, look the same, true,  but it certainly would not hold the same esteem if it went by the name of mugwump.  The word, rose, adds to it’s beauty.

Sorry, Bill.

Names have power.  Words, whether by sound or meaning, conjure up all sorts of thoughts and emotions.

I love words.  I once tried reading through the dictionary.  I’m sorry to say that I didn’t even get through the A’s because I quickly realized that my brain couldn’t retain all that information.  One of my favorite books is the thesaurus–I’m currently reading through one of those.  Two words:  Word.  Nerd.

So when I was deciding on what to name this blog, I was immediately intimidated.  A name means something.  It’s my statement to this world what this whole venture is about.

I knew early on that I wanted coriander in the title.  My husband gave me that nickname years ago.  So that part of me, that melding of my first and middle names, Cory and Anne, made the cut.  But then what?  The whole purpose of starting this blog was not to promote myself.  I have little to offer this world.  This journey was not about me.  This journey was and is, with every word that I type, about my Heavenly Father who created me; my Savior, Jesus, who died for me; and His Holy Spirit who daily breathes in me new life, new hope, new passion and I pray, new words.

The journey is about Him.  He needed to be a part of this most important name.

I remembered (or He reminded me) that the word, coriander is in the Bible.  I grabbed my concordance.  It’s found in a passage of scripture that was written about the Israelites journey out of Egypt, where they had been enslaved for hundreds of years.  After quite an escape, they’ve arrived on the other side of the Red Sea, only to ask the question, Now what?

In Exodus 16:2-3, it says,

Then the whole Israelite community grumbled to Moses and Aaron in the desert.  They said to them, ‘It would have been better if the Lord had killed us in the land of Egypt.  There we had meat to eat and all the food we wanted.  But you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death.

The Lord answered their cries.  Exodus 16:4, 13, 31 says,

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will cause food to fall like rain from the sky for all of you.  Every day the people must go out and gather what they need for that day…That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp.  When the dew was gone, thin flakes of frost were on the desert ground…The people of Israel called the food manna.  It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.

Now let me take a moment to tell you what I would have said if I were God.  My response would have went a little something like this…

“Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!!!  In order to make Pharaoh allow you to escape his heavy hand of hard labor, I just covered Egypt with frogs, flies, gnats, disease,  boils, hail, locusts and darkness, turned all the Egyptians water into blood and because Pharaoh still wouldn’t listen, I killed the firstborn of every living creature in Egypt.  Yet I protected you.  Then, in order to take care of you,  I allowed you to find favor in the eyes of all the Egyptians and they loaded you down with all the gifts you asked for before heading out of Egypt.  After that, so that you would know where you’re going, I showed you the way.  I gave you a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Then, when Pharaoh realized he’d lost his entire slave force and set out to capture you again with his armies, I OPENED the Red Sea and allowed the millions of you to walk on its dry bed to the other side.  And then, because Pharaoh’s army was chasing you, after you had all safely crossed, I let the Sea close over his army’s heads and wiped them out.  And now that I’ve done all that, you think I brought you here to kill you?!!!!  Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!!!! ”

Then I might have said something like this…

“I’ll give you food, you ungrateful, hard-headed bums!  Here, I’ll send in some really fat rats that you can hunt down for supper and in the morning, I’ll rain down some week old baguettes….oops!  Did that one hit you in the head?  Sorry.”

That might have been my response.  It’s a good thing for Israel that our God is a little more gracious.  Well, a lot more gracious.  Instead of rats He sent quail (gourmet!) and bread, and not just any bread, but this beautiful dusting of white flakes so that every morning when Israel woke up, they’d step outside their tents to a virtual winter wonderland of white.  And because He is so gracious and so amazing in His love and compassion, He made it taste of, not week-old bread, not moldy bread, but honey bread.

That’s my God.  A God who, even when I do nothing to deserve it, chooses to bless me with His provision and sweet grace.  A God who patiently endures all my grumbling and sin and says, I love you anyway.

coriander and honey….how perfect.

Because like the Israelites, I too depend on Him for my daily bread.  I need a fresh helping of Him each day.

I just clicked over to another website to play some music and right there was an ad for http://www.goisrael.com.  It said, “There’s a little bit of Israel in all of us.”

How true, isn’t it?  Just like Israel, we sit here depending on Him for life.

He’s my sustenance.  He’s my provider.  He’s my encourager.  He’s my security.  He’s my #1 fan.  He’s my everything.  Because He doesn’t just give the bare minimum.  He gives it all.

He gave me Jesus.  In John 6:48-51 Jesus says,

“I am the bread that gives life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but still they died.  Here is the bread that comes down from heaven.  Anyone who eats this bread will never die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.  This bread is my flesh, which I will give up so that the world may have life.”

Don’t you just love the imagery!  I’ve read a lot of literature in my day.  I have a BA in English.  But you can’t make this stuff up!  God thought of it all when He put His words into the mouths and pens of His creation!  And He did it through the simple so that no one would doubt where it came.  Shepherd songs and fisherman verses.   From Genesis to Revelation He weaved His story of rescue and redemption.  From manna in the desert to the Last Supper where Jesus broke the bread and said, “This is my body, broken for you,” He ties it all together.  The first and the last, the beginning and the end.

It’s beautiful, this story.  And I get to be a part.  Maybe even get to write a bit of it.  I too am the simple, depending on and living off every word from His mouth.  I’ve got nothing to offer.  Except myself.

So here I am, Lord.  Take this small offering.  Wash it white as coriander snow and make it sweet like honey.

For some reason, I just don’t think coriander and honey by any other name would be as sweet.


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