It’s the Rorschach inkblot test of Bible studies and I usually squirm when the question pops up from a Cheshire-grinning teacher.
“Who are you?”
I figured out early not to answer with my name. That just revealed my shallowness and self-centeredness. If I could think quick enough to stammer out, “Daughter of the King,” that usually was accepted as proper unless the teacher had spiritual gifts in mind. Then I should have answered with “servant” or “leader.” Or maybe I should have answered that I was a daughter, wife, mother, sister because relationships should define who I am. Or maybe they shouldn’t define who I am. I forget.
The whole thing gave me headaches and I avoided the question for years.
But it is a good question, when separated from expectations, and I come back to it. Who am I?
If it weren’t for the yearnings, I’d say that we can look at God’s nature and see who we are in what he is not. We are not pure or righteous or loving or truth or compassionate or eternal or powerful. I could answer “Who am I?” by saying I am nothing like God.
But we long for what we are not. And that ache, not for what we are, but what we are not, often brings us to God’s throne.
Who am I? I am in a storm, with the wind screaming and the clouds boiling black, when God pulls me out. I am flat on my back with the wall collapsing above me when God whisks me away. I am soaked in bitterness and selfishness when God blasts me clean.
Casting Crowns tackles the same question in their song of the same name, twisting their way to a reasonable conclusion.
Who am I? Their answer: I am His.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.