Friday, December 4, 2015


"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,…"  (Isaiah 9:6-7a NKJV)

A Nigerian woman who is a physician at a great teaching hospital in the United States came out of the crowd today to say something kind about the lecture I had just given. She introduced herself using an American name. "What's your African name?" I asked. She immediately gave it to me, several syllables long with a musical sound to it. "What does the name mean?" I wondered.

She answered, "It means 'Child who takes the anger away'."

When I inquired as to why she would have been given this name, she said, "My parents had been forbidden by their parents to marry. But they loved each other so much that they defied the family opinions and married anyway. For several years they were ostracized from both their families. Then my mother became pregnant with me. And when the grandparents held me in their arms for the first time, the walls of hostility came down. I became the one who swept the anger away. And that's the name my mother and father gave me."

It occurred to me that her name would be a suitable one for Jesus. He certainly knew how to sweep anger away.

I guess I would also like to be known as a person who sweeps anger away. Being a reconciler is pretty worthwhile personal mission. I recall Garrison Keillor once reflecting on the church of his youth: "We had a surplus of scholars and a deficit of peacemakers." That ratio needs to be reworked.

-- Gordon MacDonald in Leadership Weekly


1 comment:

  1. What a GREAT story as well as a great quote!! Thanks for your Sound Bites.

    John T.


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