Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who am I?

I ask myself, "Who am I?"

--impossible question! I wander, awaiting the answer that will crystallize existence and freeze it into a form that I can keep in my pocket and know completely.

How large is my pocket? 

Time moves forward, and everything changes with every breath. Life cannot be held, only observed. And I am merely present, aware, prepared to see. This motion is ... in fact ... the answer. I snag on life, and that is how I notice where I am

I exist, but I am not the one in front of my eyes, and if I try to look it is not myself but a fragmented shadow of every angry voice I've ever heard, hissing and whispering accusations. Sifting the shadow from the mirror is impossible, improbable, difficult. I am trapped by the past when I look within.

It is best to open my eyes and simply be ... who this is ... where this is ... not swallowed up in an idea of me that is no longer present. Maybe it isn't merely this form or these ideas and interpretations ... maybe I am this experience of living?

I ask my friends, "Who am I?"

--and they reflect my presence in a myriad of mirrored gazes, warped and smooth, shadowed and bright. They struggle and live and rejoice and grieve and lean and hold and speak and whisper and wrap in silence.

They darken their answer with words too pleasant to believe, so I close my eyes before they arrive. Still, I cannot see myself, only an effect (a ripple of passage left in time) of God at work, I think.... Because they smile and say how grateful they are, though I know they are the gift to me. 

From which direction does this light come? 

They do not know the beauty I see in them. When I tell them who they are, they do not believe. They scoff and wonder at the blindness in my eyes. 

We are the same. 

"How difficult can it be to accept the reflection I offer?" they say. 

Here--hold this understanding with a sense of the absurd--I cannot tell them what I won't allow them to tell me. We both lean forward with the same irritation, that our meanings are emptied by unbelief. 

"Thank you for being who you are," we say.

And it is important for them to know, to believe, to understand. The words come back again and again.

So, now I believe their impossibly lovely reflection. What else can I do, if I would request the same of them? 

"You are a gift, my treasure, my friend. I learn from you ... because of who you are."

Only God can make sense of that reality ... and he is everywhere, breathing the existence of friendship into our spirits. We weave the vapor of his intentional presence into our tangible lives through time and everyone we meet ... when we are aware enough to see. A friend within all friends, beyond knowing.

I ask God, "Who am I?"

--and he answers, "I love you. I am with you. Fear not." 

And while that wasn't the question, it becomes all the answer I need.

I am the one God loves. 


This article is written in response to the writing prompt at:

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