Who do you think you are?” Ever heard that? If you are anything like I was as a kid, yep you heard that plenty. It generally followed, “Look what you have done.”
As I write this, I realize I never once answered the question. It was probably a good idea to keep my mouth shut, but that didn’t stop me in other situations. I was asked this question once as an adult. It wasn’t because I did something bad and it wasn’t following, “Look what you did.” (I must have grown a little) I couldn’t answer the question. I spent a long time figuring out why I couldn’t. I started with what people say about me, and the things I do. I even went through the list of labels: I am a doctor, a husband, a father, a brother, a husband, a bald spot with a guy underneath, blah blah blah. The questioner pushed a little and said, “No, I meant who are you underneath all that.” well that was entirely too close for comfort. I teared up and told him, “Now look what you have done, who do you think you are?” Underneath all those labels and masks, and holograms, and defenses, and barbed wire, I am a scared child unsure on how to live into life abundant. I have built up walls to keep people out from knowing me, because if they really knew me they might not like me. I don’t like that kid inside.
The question I asked myself is, “Who does God think you are?” It followed an understanding that it didn’t matter what I’ve done. I had this image of Jesus hanging out in a hammock, sipping lemonade. He was daydreaming about the world and thought of me. He smiled as He thought of who I was and who I was becoming. He embraced the thought of my wanting desperately to love and be loved. He embraced me and drew close and I felt it. I felt the warmth and peace. I felt the comfort. It was then that I turned to Him and asked, “Who do you say I am?” He smiled. I decided I knew what he would say. He would say I am a beloved child of His, a doctor, a father, a brother, a son, a husband. He would say I am the bonehead who did this and that. He would say I am the miracle who spoke the Good News to a list of people. He would count the ways I honored Him and the ways I denied Him (probably more than three, huh, Peter?). I stewed and reveled in my insecurities and faults. I felt the wall going back up.
However, Jesus held back the wall and smiled and said, “You are.”