Mother is the first mirror in the life of a child. When an infant looks into the face of mother, the baby learns “this is who I am.” Indeed, it takes many months before the baby knows there is a distinction between self and mother.
The mirror widens as the child grows to include parents, family, friends, teachers, and so forth. A little child listens for clues to identity, “who I am.” Clues are found in observable, specific details, but also in imagination, emotion, and patterns of thought. The child is listening for the answer to one question, “Am I loved?” This will determine the child’s sense of identity.
Every child learns, some too early and some too late, that the mirror is cracked. The messages, the clues, may be true or false. “I am not all they say I am; I am more than they say I am; I am my own self.”
To come to God in Christ is to look into a new mirror to discover who you are and who you can become. You need listen for the love of Christ for you. You listen for the following:
- Who am I? I am either accepted or rejected.
- Where am I? I am either in a place that is safe or dangerous.
- Why am I? I am either significant or of no account.
- What am I? I am authentic or an imposter.
Growing up, you heard answers to these questions and they determined your identity. As a child of God, it is time to listen for His answers. Depending on your own experience in Sunday school and church, you have an awareness of what the answers are supposed to be. You can anticipate them. You can cite chapter and verse.
However, what I referring to at right now are not answers written in the Bible, but the answers disclosed in the Bible, now written in your experience, your inner being. You need to hear the Living Word, Jesus, Himself.
Copyright © Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.