Who Am I?

I am a fundamentally flawed individual.  If anyone was to question the concept of Original Sin, they would only need to look at me for evidence of its existence.

I am opinionated and vocal about it.  I am prideful and struggle with it.  I am the one who has an inferiority complex as big as Texas itself.  I am not the person who goes into a situation with diplomacy and tact.  In fact, my picture would be in the dictionary next to the phrase — “bull in a china shop.”  I am hotheaded and don’t often do well when trying to control my emotions. I am my own worst enemy and have caused myself a lot of unnecessary emotional bruises because of my tendency to speak first and think about it later.  I am not the one who suffers fools gladly.  I am foolish more than I would like to admit.  I am the one who is the work horse but longs to be the show horse.  I often want the human recognition for my efforts in life even though I know what Scripture teaches about worldly acclamation.

I am also a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  I am like Paul who you can almost imagine was shouting in grateful at the end of Romans 7 when he wrote (v. 24-25) and again at the end of chapter 8 (v. 38-39) …

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I ALSO PASSIONATELY AND ETERNALLY LOVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND LONG FOR THE DAY OF THEIR SALVATION.  I often ask God if he could not have chosen a better vessel than me for His Chosen Ones.  I often wonder what God was thinking when he tapped me on a shoulder almost 15 years ago and stated … “Now or never.”

Who am I to be the one who is given this incredibly difficult task when the world in its political correctness states that it is hateful to teach the exclusivity of Jesus the Messiah.  Who am I when so many churches and Christians either look the other way when the need is presented to them or believe they are doing enough when they send money to the “preacher” in San Antonio (I told you I struggle with tact and diplomacy).  Who am I when a 1,001 other people could probably do it better than I.  Who am I to be the director of Tzedakah Ministries?

I am the one He chose and so I must go and do the work.  I am the one He called and so I must be about my Father’s business.  I am the one He considers worthy and so I must live my life, in spite of my fundamentally flawed personality, in such a way that will please Him … regardless of whether or not the world understands and regardless of whether or not the leadership of my childhood Christian denomination agrees with me. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer also struggled with this reality of his own shortcomings and the mighty call of God.  He penned a magnificent literary work while in prison and shortly before his death at the hands of the Third Reich in 1945.  While I cannot agree with all his theology, he is a personal hero to me because he is the Christian I long to be.  Below is his poem … “Who Am I?” … along with a Yahoo clip from the movie of his life entitled Agent of Grace (albeit with some editing of the work).  I only hope I am worthy of these words some day.

Who am I? They often tell me

I stepped from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a Squire from his country house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I used to speak to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me

I bore the days of misfortune

Equably, smilingly, proudly,

like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,

Tossing in expectations of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the Other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!



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