C. S. Lewis famously called George MacDonald his “master”. Here is one of my most cherished passages from Lewis’ Anthology of MacDonald’s writings. Enjoy!
The White Stone (Revelation 2:17)
'"Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the victor I shall give some of the hidden manna; I shall also give a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it."'
“The giving of the white stone with the new name is the communication of what God thinks about the man to the man. It is the divine judgment, the solemn holy doom of the righteous man, the “Come, thou blessed,” spoken to the individual . . .The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man’s own symbol – his souls’ picture, in a word – the sign which belongs to him and to no one else.
Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. For no one but God sees what the man is . . . It is only when the man had become his name that God gives him the stone with his name upon it, for then first can he understand what his name signifies. It is the blossom, the perfection, the completeness, that determines the name: and God foresees that from the first because He made it so: but the tree of the soul, before its blossom comes, cannot understand what blossom it is to bear and could not know what the word meant, which, in representing is own unarrived completeness, named itself.
Such a name cannot be given until the man is the name. God’s name for a man must be the expression of His own idea of the man, that being whom He had in His thought when he began to make the child, and whom He kept in His thought through the long process of creation that went to realize the idea. To tell the name is to seal the success – to say “In thee also I am well pleased.”
Here there is no room for ambition. Ambition is the desire to be above one’s neighbor; and here there is no possibility of comparison with one’s neighbor; no one knows what the white stone contains except the man who receives it . . .Relative worth is not only unknown – to the children of the Kingdom, it is unknowable.
“God has cared to make me for Himself,” say the victor with the white stone, “And has called me that which I like best.”