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xmenMitch did a cute post called “Put the X back in Xmas!” He points out how Christian men were once called “X-men.” So there you go, you really can be superheroes, one and all. Batman is my favorite, but X-men are nothing to sneeze at. I’m perfectly good with y’all having superpowers too.

I enjoy bits of trivia, how perceptions change and shift. “Christian” was once an insult, a form of mockery meaning “a little Christ.” Faith was actually called “The Way,” perhaps because Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” To follow Jesus was to follow The Way.

Culture ebbs and flows and words  begin to take on new meaning, new definitions.

Mitch’s post reminded me of another superhero, a genuine X-man from long ago. My fifth grade librarian in Ketchikan, Alaska. God bless that man, long gone now I’m sure, but his words found fertile soil and grew into some powerful fruit.

I was making Christmas cards in the library one day, writing “X-mas” as I had learned to, when he suddenly bent down and whispered in my ear, “don’t ever be afraid to say His name.”

It was a real game changer, powerful words hard to explain all these years later, but it was like being seen and recognized, identified as a member of a secret club, as part of the family. Oh yeah, he knows I know Christ.

Don’t ever be afraid to say His name. That’s it, that’s all he said. I was for many years too, afraid to say His name, but I never forgot that encouragement, his whispered tone, the mystery of having just the right words spoken to you when you needed them most.

X-men are real. I lifted one up in prayer today, long gone but not forgotten.