"Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined
by the mistakes that I've made
because God says of me..
I am new..."
It's such a gift when someone sends me a song. Maria passed "I Am New," by Jason Grey, along recently, and as soon as I heard it, I just knew there would be a perfect story moment for it to compliment. And like a baseball field in Iowa (for those of you who haven't seen Field of Dreams...sorry), if you sing the song in your heart, one day the experience to go with it will come. And it did.
So here goes.
I was walking through the grocery store the other day and I woman I didn't really recognize, but one who obviously felt that she recognized and knew me...very well...came up and started giving me the "what for" about something I'd done that she was very upset about.
It started out quite nicely actually. "Hi, oh my gosh, it's been so long. How are you?" I couldn't quite remember her name...or her face, for that matter...but she seemed so genuine in her friendliness that I responded that it was nice to see her too. Hoping that continuing the conversation would jog my memory...which is usually quite good.
But, within a few moments she was taking me to task. And as stood there listening to her very politely-delivered rebuke, reeling a bit as I searched for a loving way to respond, I started to actually take on her feelings about me.
Well, yes, I certainly have made mistakes. Perhaps my choices have had an impact on her sense of community well-being. Maybe I haven't fully cared for her feelings about the matter. How could I have been so thoughtless... Darkness, guilt, regret start to wrap their fingers around my joy...
Then she said, "And for that matter Caroline..."
Oh my gosh! I was not Caroline.
As soon as I knew that I was not Caroline, all the bad feelings that had started to sprout little tendrils and curl around my peace, strangling my feelings of wholeness and innocence...just withered...curled up and disappeared from my heart and my mind.
I looked at her and smiled. "I think you have the wrong person, I am not Caroline," I told her. Then I put my hand in hers and said..."and neither is she." And then I gave her a hug and continued down towards the produce section.
Perhaps it's time we let our friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors...heck, ourselves...not be who we thought we/they were. What would our relationships be like if we let one another be defined by who we are to God...the great I AM, not who we were in the past...the sad, regrettable, long-since-gone I was, she was, they were, you were....
I love Jason Grey's reminder that we all have the right to "be new"...to be defined by that fresh, innocent perspective on the "I AM" of our being that is always one with God.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."
I'm taking him at his word...the Word of God...impartially, universally, lovingly extended to each of us as a promise...our own emancipation proclamation.
Just a little story from the pasta and cereal aisle of the grocery store.
as ever...with Love,
Kate Robertson, CS