Monday, August 11, 2014

Which me?

One day, when my mother was in early stages of Alzheimer's, we went to the movies.  When the movie was over and the theater was still dark, everyone jumped up to leave.  I worried about my mother navigating in the dark.  I touched the person in front of me and asked, "Mom, is that you?"  A woman answered, "No, it's not me."  Then she clarified, "Well, it is me but it's the wrong me!"  We both giggled and I found my mother safe and sound outside the theater.

I often think of that and wonder which "me" is present at any given moment.  I am not suffering from multiple personality disorder but don't you feel like there are several versions of yourself?  Sometimes I really like who I am.  Other times, I cringe thinking of the "me" that was operational at a particular point in time.  "Ug.  Why wasn't the lovely, charitable me out that day?  Why was I so [snarky, impatient, spiteful, etc.?]

C.S. Lewis wrote:
The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. . . . I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call “me” can be very easily explained. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own. 
Why can't I get out of the way and let our Lord take over  so I can be the authentic me?  This thought was in my mind when Arely asked me to give a homily at the recent quinceañera for Carmen, Evelyn, Suyapa, and K (the new safe house girl.)
Evelyn, Suyapa, Carmen, K
This is an excerpt of my homily:

The second story is about my son, Hunter. He was born missing most of his left leg. One day, when he was very young, said to me, “Mommy, I remember being in heaven before I was born.”

I didn't know if he was joking or telling the truth! I replied, “Really? You can remember being in heaven?” 
“Did you see Jesus?” 
“Did you talk to Jesus?” 
“What did He say?” 
“He told me he was giving me this leg because he wanted me to be special."  
Then Hunter ran off to play. I remained in the kitchen stunned. I didn't know what to think about this conversation. Could he be telling the truth?  I realized Hunter was telling me the truth when I read this verse from Jeremiah:  
“Before I formed you in the womb knew you, before you were born set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

That is my message to you today. Many people and things will try to define you. Television, movies, people at school, your friends, your boyfriend or husband – they all may try to define you. Do not permit them to! The Lord has already defined you. The Lord formed each one of you and He knew you before you were born. He wants each one of you to be special…and you are. He has made you to be strong, intelligent, wise, talented, beautiful, and kind. Most of all, He made you precious in His sight. You are His beloved daughters. If you are ever uncertain about yourselves or your life remember this: What Hunter told me was true. The Lord knew you before you were even born. He wants each one of you to be special. Let Jesus define who you are. You all deserve to be loved because He loved us first. I love you very much and I am so proud of you.

And this is my message to you.  When you wonder which "me" is present, remember the "me" that is your authentic "me."  You have already been defined as a precious beloved child of God.  Give yourself over to God!  Let your real "me" shine through!