“Yisaya! Yisaya!” The song rose up – faulty, but strong and enveloping. It was powerful like a fragrance and thick like the cloud in the temple of God: That’s how it felt. It ministered to my soul, filled it with awe and deep, inexpressible joy. And as I wondered what that powerful word could be, my mind unraveled the Telugu and realized: It was the name of Jesus.
Before Telugu, before India, a few years ago, in fact, just a little before the call, I found a list of names of God from the Bible. I read the names aloud and I could feel the power. Not a power that I was conjuring up, not a power I could use, but a power that could use me. There was a mystery and a worship and a fragrance to it. I felt strengthened, filled, and refreshed in and after speaking them.
I began to find out more about His names and focus on them in my Bible reading – I even found an unmarked Bible of mine and read through it, circling His name each time it was used to help me identify it so I could meditate on it in its context. I found such great delight in it that I did it at every opportunity – so much so that one of the boys I was nannying at the time came into the kitchen one day as I was making lunch, plopped himself down at my feet, my pen and Bible in his hands, and motioned me to come down on the floor with him so we could circle Jesus’ name together.
Some of those circled names became deeply significant to me – Lord of Hosts, Ishi, Qanna, Holy Spirit… Jesus. Those names transformed me, those names brought me here. Here – a land filled with demon worship in Hinduism and bondage in Islam – here again the name of my God has power. When the Muslim call to prayer rings through the city, I sing the name out, when the pictures of worshiped Hindu demons surround me on the merchant’s walls, I whisper it aloud in prayer. Fear vanishes and I am filled with the knowledge that my God is greater, is present, is saving, is love. Regardless of language, of country, of circumstance… His name is a strong tower, a source of comfort and of power, a reminder of the sovereignty and presence of our Ishi, our Lord of Hosts, our Jesus… our Yisaya.