I have so many reasons why I picked this name.
I will share my favourite reason.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘willow’ as . . .
“any plant of the genus Salix, which consists of trees and shrubs of various sizes, widely distributed in temperate and cold regions, growing for the most part by the side of watercourses, characterized by very pliant branches and long narrow drooping leaves, and valued economically as furnishing osiers, a light smooth and soft wood, or a medicinal astringent bark, or grown ornamentally by the side of water.”
The New International Version (1984) of the Holy Scriptures make a very important reference to willows. See my annotations in italics & bold.
“Blessed is the man . . .
Is this some kind of Kanye West #blessed? Mr. West may know that ‘blessings’ do not come in the form of more money, more power and more sex. When I look at artists nowadays, some have a deep sincerity in their music and their aim is to be ‘relatable’. Others, it is very clear they just want the world to know how #blessed they are. Some show off their body in their music videos. Some show off their fast and edgy lyrics. Many rely heavily on their producers to ensure they find the right tune and the right story that keep listeners hooked.
What about Mr. Willow?
I am blessed to have a father and a mother who love me, trust me and pray for me. That is a blessing given to me by God. I cannot believe it is some kind of accident or coincidence that my parents fell in love with each other; got engaged and married 7 years before I was born.
. . . who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
I understand many people in this world are not blessed in this way. I weep for these people. I hear them singing to me on Spotify. I watch them play characters in the films I watch. I read about them in the news. I meet them every day. However, I do not want to ‘walk in step’ with them. I am not a child of this world. I am a child of God.
. . . But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
The Holy Scriptures teach me that I must love and honour my parents. I believe this applies even if (not in my case) they have not loved or honoured me to my own standards. To set the record straight, the Holy Scriptures say that I am not just a biological child of my parents; but I am a spiritual child of God. How did that happen? The teaching of these Holy Scriptures prompted me to search for God. Where was he? Did he exist? Was he real? Now the Holy Scriptures are what I delight in because they show me HOW to live this life; and WHO to live for.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
“Okay we get it, you are a tree planted by water, but what is this seasonal fruit and what is this non-withering leaf?” Jesus talks a lot about fruit. One of his followers Paul also talks about fruit. Nowadays I feel like a cut down tree with a tiny leaf daring to put its neck above the surface of the earth. Like a tiny Phoenix rising from the ashes (see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).
Whatever he does prospers
Again, ‘blessing’ and ‘prosperity’. These terms can be so misinterpreted. Does this mean I am definitely going to get all the money I want? No. Does it mean I am definitely going to get all the power I want? No. Does it mean I am going to get all the sex I want? No. In our digital capitalist era, we have replaced the God who I know loves me as one of his own sons, with these counterfeit gods. I believe the human soul longs for the intimacy of the loving Heavenly Father. I also believe our culture thinks that Money, Power and Sex are suitable replacements. Very few people admit how hollow these wooden sugar-coated idols actually are. Those people are the people I love the most. That kind of honesty is what I have all the time in the world for.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, not sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish”
I see so many boys who do not know the Father as I know Him. I know how much their lives can be transformed if they knew the Father as I know Him. I do not shout in the streets. I weep.
Interestingly, one of my favourite films of all time has a willow in it. See if you can spot it in this picture below
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