April 13, 2021

Weekly Reflection – Who Am I?

Weekly Reflection – Who Am I?

Who am I? A question we often ask ourselves.

Some years ago, I spent a full year going to a one-hour weekly session with a professional counselor. He was Jewish and very knowledgeable of the Buddhist, Native American, and other religious paths, in addition to Christianity. I used him, not for spiritual guidance but more general psychotherapeutic purposes. It was an interesting year!

There was one question he asked me in almost every session. Who are you? I struggled with that over and over again and never did get to an answer that he was satisfied with. Of course, his objective was to make me think. The answer really didn’t matter to him.

Some years later, I came across a tape of Henri Nouwen speaking on the same subject. He was asking his audience, “Who are you?” And he had an answer that has stuck with me ever since. I am a child of God, God’s “beloved.” And nothing in the world will ever change that reality. There is nothing that can happen to me and nothing I can do to deter my father’s love. Wow! Did that make an impression as I was driving through the streets of my city listening to that tape of Nouwen’s talk.

Nouwen, of course, went into this deeper than I will in this Reflection. The gist of it was that we have two choices. First, we can choose to define ourselves by what the world says of us. Secondly, we can identify ourselves with what scripture says on the subject.

Again, who am I? If we define ourselves as what the world says we are, then we are forever bouncing up and down. If I have a good job and family, I am “up.” But if I get fired from my job or my wife leaves me, then I am “down.” Worldly perceptions of who I am will never be satisfying. On the other hand, if I am a child of God, then nothing in this world can change who I am or the value of who I am.

So, wherever we find ourselves in the “world” this week, may we focus on who we really are and, in the midst of daily life, rejoice!

Blessings and peace,

Chaplain Allen


Read more Weekly Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner