My Aunt Toni has a nickname for all of her neices, nephews and the family grand children.
“Lum-Lum”, “Bae”, “Pug”…
Unlike many nicknames that are given because of a unique characteristic, her nicknames seemingly have no rhyme or reason. She simply looked at us and gave us a forever love label.
“Bucky”, “Moo-moo”, “Reesie Roo”, “Pooh”…
Nicknames tell a story. It’s a peek into how others see us. And if we answer to the nickname, it’s a peek into how we see ourselves.
Black fraternities and sororities have a tradition of giving nicknames, also known as “line names”. Unlike my Aunt Toni, the line names typically reveal the person’s personality or behavior demonstrated during the varied mental and physical moments of the pledge process. Some of the names are flattering, comical and emboldening. While other names highlight weaknesses, fears, and frailty under pressure.
Jesus nicknamed John and James (Zebedee) the “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:16-17). Sons of Thunder! Don’t you want to know what they did to earn that name?
Images of a WWF tag team come to mind. Lots of growling. Testerone on overload. Spurred on by obnoxious fans shouting ringside, “Bring the Pain!”
Well, I haven’t been able to find the why behind the nickname. But I’m persuaded to believe that its flattering, revealing their strengths under pressure. What we do know is Jesus trusted the two brothers, along with Peter, to accompany Him in several miraculous events. Jesus took them with Him when He raised Jairus’ daughter, allowed them to witness His Transfiguration, and asked them to pray for Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
No doubt Jesus wanted to increase their faith and sharpen their spiritual senses, but I think we can also infer that Jesus considered James and John (and Peter) confidants. Jesus knew not everyone can go to the mountain with you, not everyone can go into your war room with you. He knew He could trust James and John with the supernatural. The Son of God trusted their prayer life with His life. He trusted James and John to bring the thunder.
Who’s your James and John? Who do you trust to war with you?
A better question- what nickname would Jesus give you? Can He trust you to bring Heaven to Earth? Can He transfigure your life?
Me? I’m trying to bring the thunder. I’ve decided that Hell can’t take my children. Hell can’t have my mind. Hell can’t have what’s mine.
Your nickname is rooted in what you’re willing to fight for, what you choose to believe, how you exercise your faith…
Warrior Princess or Worrier Princess?
Prophetic Prayers or Pathetic Prayers?
Demon Harrasser or Demon Harrassed?
I suffer from a tinge of righteous envy of James and John. I know that my Heavenly Father is pleased with me for no other reason than I’m His daughter, His baby girl. But I want to live a life that is so connected to Him, a reflection of Him- where my words are congruent with His word. Where I’m not just a daughter but also His confidant. A life lived well- in peace, marked by wisdom and sealed by grace. I want to shake things up for His glory. I want Jesus to stand ringside of my life- and cheer me on- shouting with holy obnoxiousness, “Bring the Pain, Baby Girl! Bring the Thunder!”
Anyone looking for a tag team partner?