Who I Am

I’m a people-watcher. When we go out, I love to observe people… how they act, what they say and the expressions that play across their faces. And to be truthful, I sometimes eavesdrop. I can’t help it… If I’m in the grocery store and someone is talking on their cell phone within my vicinity, I’m going to listen. Because that’s what my ears are made for… hearing what people say. It was Thursday, though, that I felt pretty upset by my people observation skills. Because within the span of a couple of hours, I received more ugly looks than I can count. Oh, for various reasons, which lead me to believe that I must be the worst driver in history. One man looked at me so angrily, he even shook his head in a curt way, as if I were going to plow right over top of him and his two daughters. This happened as I was pulling away from a drive-through window and I can assure you I was not going to run him over. I stopped as soon as I saw him, which was at least 10 or 15 feet away. At any rate, my feelings were hurt. And the look I received didn’t produce any loving vibes toward the man. In fact, I felt quite the opposite… I felt attacked and that the situation (or the ugly look) was uncalled for. At any rate, I’m getting off track here.

The point is, I love to watch people. Especially teenage girls. I think this is probably because I was uncomfortable in my own skin growing up. When I was young, I always wanted to be somebody else because I was not happy with who I was. And I wonder about the young girls I see today. I wonder if they’re comfortable in their own skin, or if they want to be somebody else, too. I would venture to say, it’s the latter. Because what I notice about packs of young girls, is that they look the same. They wear their hair in a similar fashion, their clothing could be interchangeable, and they talk alike. They usually prefer the same music and have the same affectations. Basically, they prove the saying, “You are who your friends are.” And I believe that saying to be very true. I think you do become like who you spend the most time with. Because I lived it out for most of my formative years. When I was in my early twenties, a person pointed out to me that I was like a chameleon, changing my personality to fit who I was with. At the time, I felt anger at the observation, but now that I’m older I see that it’s true. And even now, I find a residual trace of longing within me. See, I want to be liked. By everyone. And so, I may feel out the crowd, and may or may not say something, depending on who I’m with. And so this behavior begs the question, “Am I still uncomfortable in my own skin?”

You know, the Bible is filled with conversations between God and His people. I can scan the pages of Scripture and eavesdrop on conversations that took place long ago, and not even feel bad for doing it (unlike recently, when my ears perked up at a restaurant as I listened to the four women behind me). And I think that in doing this… searching God’s word, that is… I will come to feel comfortable in my own skin. I think the more I listen in on conversations of old, the more I will find out about who I am today. Because what God had to say to His people, and what He felt for them so long ago, hasn’t changed… because He is the same. And so, through a conversation that took place between God and Moses, I learn a lot about God… and a lot about me. It’s through their banter that I find out just who I am to God. This is what I overheard:

The LORD spoke to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. And Moses pleaded with God, “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.” God answered, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. For you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” Moses went a step further… he asked that God please show him His glory. And God allowed it. God said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock and so it shall be that while My glory passes by that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand…” And so, Moses rose early in the morning to meet with God on Mount Sinai. God descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and He proclaimed to Moses His very nature. (Exodus 33)

God spoke to Moses. He stood with Moses and revealed things about His nature to him. Because they were friends. God said, “I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD.” Numbers 12:8. See, Moses spent time with God. He had a real relationship with Him, and took the the time to know God and what He cared about. And what was important to God became important to Moses. And isn’t that how it is for us today… with those that we have intimate relationships with? Don’t we spend time with our friends, talking to them and listening to what they have to say? Don’t we care about what they do? And so, from this conversation between two friends, God and Moses, I see this is exactly what He wants from us today… our friendship. In addition to everything else that He is to us, He wants to be our friend. And it’s here in this truth that I can become comfortable in my own skin. It’s here that I can find my identity.

You know, I feel for the young girls I see today. Because I remember. I know how hard it is growing up, and wanting to be liked by everyone. I know what it’s like to run after everything or everyone searching for an identity. Because that’s what I did for so very long. I just didn’t like who I was. Even today, there are things I wish I could change. But you know, I have a good Friend and He has my back… He has me covered. He loves me and cares about what I do, and He knows me by name. It’s in God that I find my true identity. And if I ever forget… if I begin to feel insecure and that I don’t measure up, He will comfort me. He will remind me of just who I am… in Him.

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