I’d like to tell you who I am, but what could I say? How might you describe yourself to others?
In the past I might say about the job title, my responsibilities.
I might have started by telling you about my wife of 30 years, our 2 wonderful children.
Perhaps I could have tried to describe to you my characteristics but I would have only spoken of those things which I want you to know. Here’s one diagram which we might use.
It’s human nature perhaps to paint a picture which you and definitely myself will find acceptable. But does that answer the question, really?
We may be afraid to recognise who we really are, to describe in detail those facets of our character which may be unsavoury, possibly wrong. When we were born we needed such support for all that we needed. Who were we then? The vast majority of babies are really loved and cherished. We might ensure that they are well fed, their nappies changed, the wind released and well occupied. They seem to intrinsically know that they are loved.
They could only speak of receiving such love, hopefully assured that they would be welcomed, nurtured and loved every day. However as we grow in years that assumption starts to possibly fade. In our teenage years we yearn to be loved. As our interests develop, or passions emerge, we may encounter conflict and misunderstanding.
How stark the contrast between the love parents have for their new born child to the situation when their child may be cast out of the family home for a variety of reasons : the child identifying as LGBT which resonates with us.
The child craves love and may not find it. The walls are starting to be built, walls of pretences and defences. We may cocoon ourselves to guarantee protection : or so we hope. Is this a fear of rejection? What would we do not to be rejected? to be loved?
As we grow even older and approach death our independence fades further, to the point of total dependence. We so desperately seek that love now.
Who am I?
We can use labels. But does our gender really make a difference? Does our sexuality? I am sure that they don’t.
Really, does our occupation define us? I have had a number of different jobs over the years. Does age define us? I’m not sure I want to call myself old…. well not yet.
Might I suggest that we are one who can say we are loved, I am loved.
This is the real essence of our lives. We desire that deep love from others and from ourselves. We need to know that we are loved by those near to us. Just like those childhood days and also those as we grow ever older we need love because we are so vulnerable. Within this vulnerability we open ourselves up, so others may see our real self. We in turn can identify with ourselves and learn to love, not to criticise, ourselves.
I believe that God created us to live life in abundance, for God so loves us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
That thief can be us or it could be others. Let the God who created us allow us to live that life to the full, soaked in love and overflowing in love for others.
I invite you to join me in this prayer :
You are loved!