Tag Archives: Spirit

A life lesson for you

Daddy learned a valuable lesson while I was interning during seminary. I worked at a retirement home where I got to know very elderly people. After talking at length with many of these folks I realized that some of them seemed to have a feeling of ‘incompleteness.’

You will, like all of us, grow up thinking that at some future point in your life you will figure out life, you will find answers to questions and will eventually, finally, understand what it means to be who you are as a unique individual. As you enter your high school years, you’ll struggle to find your identity.

Many of the older people I worked with were facing their final few years, and they were realizing that in many ways they were no closer to answers than when they started.

Our lives are about becoming who we are, not being who we are.

In the Christian Bible’s book of Exodus 3:14, it says, “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

In the Hebrew scripture, the Tanakh, it’s translated this way: “God said to Moses, “Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I will be what I will be),” and He said, “So shall you say to the children of Israel, ‘Ehyeh (I will be) has sent me to you.'”

English speakers tend to get trapped in the present tense, (and they tend to trap God there with them.)

But another translation is “I am becoming that which I am becoming.” Past, present, and future, all at the same time.

Like the Creator who breathed the Spirit of creation into you and me and mommy and into every living thing, we are always becoming who we are. Mommy and I are here to help you become who you will become, and to help you keep growing and keep becoming, with a sense of wonder and excitement.

And already, at less than six months old, your personality is really beginning to form and take shape. Already you are becoming who you will become.

“Welcome home.”

I went to church last night – the Maundy Thursday service. That’s when we remember the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples. Mommy and I had been in the same church Ash Wednesday, 44 days earlier.

On Ash Wednesday, I sat there thinking, “we’ll have her with us when we come back Easter.”

Last night, I was in the same pew facing the fact that you won’t be with us Easter. After 44 days of waiting, and looking forward to seeing you, and 44 days of your social worker doing nearly nothing, we still don’t have you.

I’ve had many emotional experiences at this church, and last night was really tough. All types of emotions swirled through me at the same time. Memories of past sadnesses and present loneliness because you and your mommy are so far away. I also had feelings of love and joy and optimism thinking about the time we will spend together in the future. The family we’ll be together, and the family we’ll share at this church.

All of these emotions overcame me last night because the emotions are connected, good and bad, happy and sad, all overlapping like hands and fingers interlocking in prayer. Tears of joy mixed with tears of sadness.

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday


The emotions were connected just as we’re all connected by the Spirit of the Creator moving across creation. The breath of the Lord moves across creation, across the sweaty face of Jesus, across me in the church pew, and across your delicate skin as your mommy holds you.

After visiting this church off and on over the past seven years, I told the minister that mommy and I intend to join the church on Easter.

“Welcome home,” he said.