It was a warm day in September last year… I found myself in the semicircle in front of Asbury with a group of my closest friends. We spend a lot of time together; in class, eating, walking, mourning the piles of homework that we have. This time, though, we gathered to pray- to study the Bible together, and to pray together.
Beracah, my roommate, confidante, and hero, was leading us through listening prayer.
“Close your eyes,” she said, “and picture yourself in a place you are comfortable… in your room at home, in your dorm room here, in your favorite coffee shop… somewhere that you are able to completely be yourself.”
So, in my mind I settled in on my bed at home- my oh-so-soft bed that I miss very much.
“Imagine that Jesus walks into the room,” said Beracah. “Don’t force what happens next- just watch how you react.”
After we had spent some time conversing with Jesus in our “special places,” Beracah moved us on.
“Now,” she said, “Ask Jesus what game he wants to play with you. And then ask him why.”
This is odd, I thought. But I did it, because I’m a compliant person.
“Jesus,” I said.
“Yes?” he asked me. Which was odd, I thought, because he already knew what I was going to ask.
“What game do you want to play with me?”
His answer surprised, confused, and excited me a bit.
“Why?” I wondered.
“Because you’re good at playing a lot of different roles.”
I’ll never forget a bible study that my youth group had a few years ago, where we all started out by answering the question, “who am I?”
It’s a hard question to answer, and every once in a while I find myself listing in my mind all of the roles that I fill- particularly since having that conversation with Jesus.
First, there are the essentials- the things I can’t change; I’m a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a niece.
There are the things that I choose to be; a friend, a girlfriend, a babysitter.
The things I’ve only recently become; an Asburian, a roommate, a Media Communications major.
The things I am working at becoming; a photographer, a graphic designer, a writer.
The things I hope to be one day; a wife, a mother, an aunt, an astronaut.
All things that make up who I am… and so, ever since I was invited to a game of Charades with Jesus, I have been praying about what that really means. Is there a primary role that I am working towards playing? Is it one that I fill now, that I am only beginning to really fulfill? Or am I meant to learn to play a lot of different parts throughout my whole life? Did God give me my scatterbrained-ness and ADHD-like symptoms because he wanted me to be able to split my attention for significant reasons?
I’ve been praying that the Lord would show me what my MAIN role was- exactly WHO am I? It was actually last week that I prayed that prayer particularly strongly- a sudden identity crisis made me greatly desire an answer.
And so, I should not have been surprised when, first thing Monday morning, one of my professors handed out a significant piece of paper in class.
Dr. Walker has been more than a professor to me for my last year and a half here. He’s been a friend, a sharer of wisdom, and an encouragement. I love my talks with him through the semester, and I adore the classes that I have with him. He always, always starts out classes with a devotion and prayer- and Monday was no exception.
Monday morning he passed out a sheet of paper with the following written on it (bear with me, I know it’s long):
Who Am I?
I am the salt of the earth. (Matt. 5:13)
I am the light of the world. (Matt. 5:14)
I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
I am a part of the true vine, a channel of Christ’s life. (John 15:1,5)
I am Christ’s friend. (John 15:15)
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit. (John 15:16)
I am a slave of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)
I am enslaved to God. (Romans 6:22)
I am a child of God; God is spiritually my Father. (Rom. 8:14, 15; Gal. 3:26; 4:6)
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him. (Romans 8:17)
I am a temple – a dwelling place – of God. His Spirit and His life dwells in me. (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)
I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am a member of Christ’s Body. (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30)
I am a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18, 19)
I am a child of God and one in Christ. (Gal. 3:26, 28)
I am an heir of God since I am a child of God. (Gal 4:6, 7)
I am a saint. (Eph 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2)
I am God’s workmanship- His handiwork- born anew in Christ to do His work. (Eph. 2:10)
I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family. (Eph. 2:19)
I am a prisoner of Christ. (Eph. 3:1; 4:1)
I am righteous and holy. (Eph. 4:24)
I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now. (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6)
I am hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)
I am an expression in the life of Christ, because He is my life. (Col. 3:4)
I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. (Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4)
I am a child of light and not of darkness. (1 Thess. 5:5)
I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling. (Heb. 3:1)
I am a partaker of Christ. I share in His life. (Heb. 3:14)
I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. (1 Pet. 2;5)
I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. (1 Pet. 2:9, 10)
I am an alien and stranger to this world in which I temporarily live. (1 Pet. 2:11)
I am an enemy of the devil. (1 Pet. 5:8)
I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns. (1 John 5:18)
I am not the great “I am,” (Exod. 3:14; John 8:24, 28, 58) but by the grace of God, I am what I am. (1 cor. 15:10)
We went around the room as a class and read down the list out loud, each one of us reading one line. And as we read, I got more and more squirmy… Okay, God, I thought. You have made your point. I should know who I am.
I moved on to Chapel, then, where Dr. Gray (our president) was speaking. She told us the story of her mom passing away- and how she inherited a pile of her mother’s Bibles.
“My mom has written all over every one of her Bibles,” she told us. “Anytime she would receive a word from God, she’d write it down.”
Dr. Gray compiled a collection of things her mom had written in her Bibles, and sent them to a friend of hers. Her friend made a book of all the sayings, and sent it back to Dr. Gray- who then read us some excerpts.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when she opened the book, and the first thing she read was, “I am the one that Jesus loves.”
So, the answer to my question was answered… twice, very effectively, within two hours.
I have a lot of roles I do fill, and I will probably fill even more one day… but really, I have one major one; a child of God, an heir of God, the light of the world, the one that Jesus loves.
I’m off to play Charades with Jesus!