Some years ago, I read an article titled “Lord, Who Do You Say That I Am?” The author was asking God who she was. In Scripture Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” The reversal between a human asking God and Jesus asking humans struck me.
The question is a good one for me, because I am not who I was even three months ago. In early April I was a pastoral associate, but by Easter I had lost my job. Two weeks later I had a hip replacement, causing me to wonder “Am I really who I thought I was?” All my life I have been blessed with good health, and suddenly I was using a walker.
While our American culture identifies us by what do, my religious formation emphasizes who we are. Society’s pull often seems greater than that of spiritual writers and mentors. I’ve been a teacher, a liturgist-musician, a pastoral associate, and someone who worked in a retreat center. Now I am almost embarrassed to meet someone, because I can’t find an appropriate noun to complete “I’m ____.” It’s humbling, and humility is good for me. I must believe that this hiatus between jobs and time of recuperation blesses me with an opportunity to be more than I ever realized.
How will I identify myself? I am ___. The Blessed Virgin said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” Whatever the future will bring I can say with Mary, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.”