Identity -

Today a little glimpse into Spanish culture via my residence card:

As a resident alien in Spain I have an identification card (NIE- photo) that goes everywhere with me. It has my photo, address, valid dates, and of course my NIE number. This is a number specific to me, which begins and ends with a letter, and has 7 digits in between. I memorized it before I even learned my Spanish phone number or address, because it’s connected to literally EVERYTHING I do in Spain. I’m required to show it everyone —from the Amazon guy who drops off my packages to any bank or business establishment. It’s part of my contracts for my apartment, my bills, and my internet service. It’s basically my SSN in Spain. In fact, in three weeks when I go to the airport, I’ll be required to show it at the check-in desk before I even leave America! It goes right with my American passport, to prove that I am both an American citizen and a Spanish resident. 

That’s how I’m identified in Spain, by the NIE number and the little pastel plastic card with my photo. 

But that’s not how God knows me. 

He knows me by name. He knows me by every cell and and strand of DNA, which He created. Before the foundation of the world, and certainly before I moved to Spain, He knew me. He knows my past and forgave me anyway. He knows my future, and has a plan for that, too! 

I am not a nameless, faceless, impersonal number to Him. I’m not just one of a massive sea of foreigners or even the greater sea of humanity. Of the billions in the world, I’m not just a plastic card or an Embassy-generated code. I am known and loved by the Almighty God. 

And so are you. 

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” (I John 3:1).