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Do You Have a Name For Me?
MAN: Good afternoon Professor Knowledge. Let me cut to the chase. I am interested in a name whereby salvation can be found. I came to you because you were highly recommended and I need your help desperately. I have been led to believe that salvation is predicated on the schools I have attended and the academic credentials that follow behind my name. Well, I have several degrees and so now I want to know if you have a name that will help me. Do you have a name I can call out to when I get to the chilly banks of Jordan? Please, check out your libraries; your dictionaries, encyclopedias, references, concordances and anything else you have available to you, to see if you can find me a name that will help me when I'm being tossed and driven on the restless sea of time. Look among your Who's Who and see if you have a name whereby my salvation can be found. In other words professor, do you have a name that will save me?
KNOWLEDGE: I'm sorry. I have names that will help you understand the universe. I have names will help you comprehend theories and behaviors. I even have names that will help you grasp all aspects of technology and science. But in all my books, I cannot find a name that you can call on for salvation.
MAN: Good afternoon Mr Power. You count a great deal among your sons, Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Hussein, Arafat and all the demigods that we read about. Mr Power, with your nuclear bombs and your inter-continental ballistic missiles, and your lasers, surely you can help me. I need a name I can call on when I must lay down my sword and shield and study war no more. Do you have a name that will save me?
POWER: No, I'm sorry, but I cannot help you. I can help you fight wars with countries. I can even help you gain control over people's minds. I can promise you a position on top of the world for as long as you live. But when it comes down to pressing a dying pillow, I can't help you. I am strong and mighty but I can only go so far. I do not have a name for you.
MAN: Well, can you help me Doctor. I am familiar with your progress and I know that you specialize in fixing up these old bodies. I know that you take the Hippocratic Oath seriously and that you do all that is humanly possible to try and keep up alive. I am looking for a name that will help me when my clay house must return to the dust from which it came. I need a name that I can call on to reassure me when I must lay down on my bed to rise no more. Tell me Doctor, do you have a name that will give me eternal life.
DOCTOR: I'm sorry. I can give you all kinds of surgeries to make you look better and feel better. I can prescribe all sorts of mediations to take away all your aches and pains. I can prolong this life, but I do not have a name that can save you from eternal death.
MAN: Riches, do you have a name for me? I have heard about Bill Gates, Li Ka-shing, the Waltons and Albrecht. I know all about what money can do. But all I want to know is do you have a name for me? Is there any way money can go with me when I have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death? Is there any way for money to go with me when I've reached the end of my journey and the last chaper of my book of life is done? Can riches buy me salvation?
RICHES: I'm sorry. I can help you obtain all the material things you desire. I can even buy you friends and influence. But, I cannot help you with salvation because the last time I got news through the grapevine, it was free. So if you are looking for a name that will save you, I'm sorry, I cannot help you. I have looked among all my possessions but in all my wealth, I cannot come up with a name for you.
MAN: Mother Earth, can you help me?
MOTHER EARTH: I'm sorry. I can't help you. I do not have much time to talk because I'm on my way around the sun. I'm due every 24 hours. Salvation cannot be found in nature.
MAN: Apostle Peter, can you help me? You are my last hope. I need a name whereby salvation can be found. Because you see, every now and then I find my back against the wall; hemmed in and hedged in. Do you have a name that regards my helpless estate? Peter, do you have a name that will save me?
PETER: Yes. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 12:10b-12 (NIV).
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available in July.
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