Can you be a person if you don’t belong?

Who am I?

Does this question ever rock your conscience? Do you ever look at yourself and feel like you’re not getting the full picture: you see a couple of main facets that seem to mean very little because there are yet a host of details to be filled in.

How can this be the case? Where is the rest of us hiding? Maybe its in the place you’d least expect…

There’s not too much to find that’s encouraging if we merely look inside, but there is much to discover if we look outside. Up there and out there is everything that we’re connected with and everything that we belong to. It is not that we are so much by ourselves, but that we ourselves are connected to so much. There’s a difference. Here’s what it looks like.

We are connected to God (this fact makes us significant because God is significant). This connection represents the fact that God created us and loves us. Yet, to the extent that we reject this connection–reject the One we’re connected with–we reject who we are and try to be connection-less. (Which makes no sense, by the way).

But, to the extent to which we long to be connected, we are dependent on Someone to connect us. We are not connectors, we are the connected. This is imperative for us to know. We cannot establish who we are, we can only submit ourselves to who we’ve been made to be. If we’re not submitted, (which, in case you didn’t know, is the route we’ve all taken from God) we are only living as disconnection persons–disconnected both from God and from who we truly are.

What an insecure place to be! What a mess of identity and conscience! We must be delivered. And, most surprisingly, we have been given the right to deliverance. Have you heard about it? Has it gripped your heart yet?

God, God of the universe, came down to reconstitute your identity. The only way to do this was to re-partner it with His identity. Staging a renewal of partnership with you at this juncture in your relationship was quite a step of humility for Him. There is no pride in a holy and just God connecting with a sinner who has rejected Him. But, there is a glory in revealing His love’s delight in returning sinners to Himself.

His heart chose to award the consequences, the great debt, of your disobedient actions to Himself rather than you. He didn’t excuse you, He didn’t assure Himself that you still had a “good” heart. He trusted, instead, in His own good heart to make your heart what it should be.

I don’t share this with you in an attempt to quickly satisfy all your questions; in fact, the reality above still hasn’t settled all my questions. My desire, instead, is that you will embrace the truth that the gospel holds out to you that you may be reconciled to God. When you do, you can feel free and eager to go ask your Father who you are. He can tell you more than I can, more than you can discover on your own.

A reason for living that goes deeper than I thought life could go

Have you ever been taken out of the game? Put on bed-rest? Prescribed a slower schedule and denied access to your super-man/super-woman cape and commitments? I have. Yes, in the grip of God’s loving ways, I’ve been “put on a shelf,” to a certain degree.

I have fought the idea that I can live without the world revolving around my activities. I have wrestled with the pressure to stop pretending that my assumptions do not need to change. I quietly begun to admit that others do not lose their reason for living because I am not beside them for all of their challenges and victories. I have lost my old sense of self and in its absence I look for a replacement. I feel uneasy in this new space. I cry out for help: “God, You got me here, now what are You going to do?”

While I am still in the process of accepting where I am and what God’s doing with me, I still have hope because God is yet doing something with me. He is changing–yes, renewing–my mind and it’s a gift. In all the confusion and frustration there has been deeper meaning; not everything has been lost. The wrestling has helped me discover something: Something I would never have applied to myself if God had not restrained my steps and severely limited my wanderings. Something that gives life even though it is so shamelessly tinged with death.

I did not know Christ

to any spectacular degree

before I found myself here.

But, now that quietness

has stole over me

and I have learned

to live out-of-the-way–

I hold a gift, a gift of

greater worth than what I’ve lost.

I have missed out;

I’ve been forgotten

but one thing I’ve gained:

Christ has become my peace.

He has come and sat with me;

made the emptiness a treat.

Overflowed my parched soul

with joy

and touch my weak points

with grace.

Christ is is known most dearly here.

And so I don’t fail to relax.

Instead, I give thanks.

My understanding is slow,

but one thing I know

He is true

and alone with Him

I still grow.

The wonder is that

I am not always (out) there

that I might remember

that I am not the One who’s needed;

only He makes this life

we live

a truly pleasant affair.

Does God know the pain?

Does God know the pain

with which I’m slain?

Does He know what it’s like to live without

And how if feels to be left out?

Can He change Himself to be like us, in our despair?

Has He ever suffered beneath a disgruntled stare?

I wonder if He sees what I suffer

Or does He prefer to hide behind a buffer?

I wish I could see Him in all the chaos

I don’t think I sense Him up on the cross!

I wish I could ask Him something but “why?”

If only I knew how not to cry.

But I have to believe all that I do, He understands

and no matter my failures, for me He stands.

In this is my hope, and my only true strength

My God’s love is assured me and knows no limits in length!

I will look forward with hope and make this my song:

My Lord is my Savior; and in Him I belong.