The name of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western trilogy is called the “Man With No Name” series.
Of course, while I was looking this up I came across the wonderful song by Dewey Bunnell, A Horse With No Name. I can’t get it out of my head, sorry about that if I did it to you as well.
But why was I looking up the story of a man with no name. Well go to Luke 16:19:20 and do you notice something in the verses? There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores.
The man with sores is given a name — Lazurus, yet throughout the story Jesus never gives the rich man a name. The story turns depressing if you are rooting for the man with no name. Father Abraham shows no mercy, not even a drop of water for his tongue, but perhaps the greatest cut of all is the fact that the rich man is not even given a name.
I don’t think that Jesus’s failure to name the rich man is an oversight. I was once told by a man who did a lot of work with the homeless that first and foremost to ask each person’s name — to give them an identity and show them the respect and dignity all human beings deserve. I’ve tried to remember that and practice it ever since.
The beauty of Jesus’s stories are not just in the principal message, but the hidden subtleties provide nuggets of wisdom.
Have a wonderful July Fourth weekend! And for those of you who are humming but can’t remember the lyrics:
“I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”