“Who Am I?”
What are human beings that you are mindful of the, mortals that you care for them?
Smarter folks than I have pondered the question, “Who am I” since the beginning of time and depending on what kind of “expert” they may be, have come up with a multitude of answers.
My old friend and professor, Rev Dr. Roberto Escamilla responded this way back in 1981, in his book Prisoners of Hope, “The truth of the matter is, human beings are a mixture of pride and humility, righteousness and evil, selfishness and unselfishness, sincerity and hypocrisy, optimism and pessimism, docility and stubbornness, idealism and realism, sinfulness and saintliness. Human beings are an enigma—a riddle.”
We have the ability to get down in the mud to help someone up. We can also stand tall and look down at those in the mud with contempt. So, who am I on this sliding scale? There is a great battle raging in us and this nation about boarder security and immigration. I wish I had the answers but I only have questions.
As in any argument there are two sides of a whole just like a penny. We certainly need safe boarders and a process for keeping folks safe. On the other hand, what are folks running from that they would risk their very lives? Would I risk my life if the situation were in reverse? Who I am?
Songwriter Luis Aguile wrote Cuando Sali de Cuba (When I left Cuba):
When I left Cuba
I left my life, I left my love,
When I left Cuba
I left my heart buried there.
My heart beats and keeps on beating
Because my land gives it life,
But the day will come
When I will hold my heart in my hand again.
I cannot die here
For I don’t have my heart with me,
It is waiting out there
It is waiting for my return.
Boarder security and effective immigration are important to every state and nation. Still, a wall keeps some out but also makes others captive to themselves. “One of the most awful and miserable experiences of life is the feeling of rejection. It is almost impossible to describe this sensation unless you have experienced it. It is the experience which comes about when someone draws a circle and leaves you out.” (Escamilla)
Human beings relate best to what we know, what is familiar, what is loving—what we call home. It seems incomprehensible to me to pursue something foreign and so very strange. What if I had no shelter, no food, no family and in fear of losing my life? Only when I wrestle with both sides can I find empathy with the foreigner among us as well as a desire for an effective process for a secure boarder. Only when I wrestle with who am I, can I find Christ within.
Once the phrase “fellowship” (koinonia) meant more than just hanging out with like-minded folks. There is so much more to our koinonia in our relationships—with others and God. Did God really create us “a little less than God’s own self (or angels depending on your Bible translation)? For what purpose? Asking, Who am I, is not about our self-evaluation but rather God’s interpretation of who God created me to be. Asking Who am I is asking God the question.
Is it possible that both sides of the coin are correct? Though we have been wrestling for many years about immigration and boarder security, we will never find resolution until we listen with compassion to each other as well as God speaking to us. Though I have more questions than answers, I find much more peace in listening…
How important are you to God? Important enough that God has given humanity dominion over the fish in the sea, birds of the air and beasts on the land. God has entrusted all of this to all of us. “With great authority comes great responsibility.”
Dear God, I am who I am by your grace. I long to continue to grow in koinonia with you and others. Help me to climb toward higher and higher goals. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Pastor Dale Golden