The Great I Am
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” – Exodus 3:14 (NRSV)
Families like mine teach: Remember who you are. And whose you are.
Meanwhile, this world is designed to make you forget who you are as it teaches you the wrong “I ams”: An I am that turns into the wrong I can’t imposes very limiting script on your life. I am poor so I can’t go to school was a limiting script many of our ancestors lived out. I am American so I can’t know what it means to be safe from bullets is a limiting script for many of us today.
Some of these I ams we think. Some, as you can see, are forced on us with some evil You ares:
You are a felon so you can’t vote. You are trans so you can’t live. You are [any number of things] so you can’t be part of a church.
But some are personally imposed:
I am a terrible runner so I can’t sign up for that half-marathon. I am awful at partnerships so I can’t commit to this person.
What, in your world of I ams has led you to conclude that you can’t?
Your I ams are faithful and true when they point you to the infinite: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am made in the image of God. When we shift our I ams into God’s You ares, we remember who and whose we are.
Help me never to forget that I am your beloved.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.