Who am I Now?
Who Am I Now?
Once I was secure…
I read this a few days ago, and it just spoke to me on a deep level, since I feel like this on a daily basis. Every missionary I know has their days when the language learning is awful, or the culture is more shocking than usual, and they wonder if they'll ever really fit in their country of service. I jokingly took this photo in front of this "American" sign at a restaurant in Madrid that tries hard to be a Texas rib joint, although it's still Spanish no matter how much decor with spurs and hot sauce they sit around. I often feel that for as much as I try to fit in here, my "American" comes out in my accent or in my dress or behavior--it always gives me away eventually. So when I read this little prayer by an unknown poet (I couldn't find her, anyway), I easily identified.
“Oh God, who am I now? Once I was secure in familiar territory in my sense of belonging, unquestioning of the norms of my culture, the assumptions built into my language, the values shared by my society. But now you have called me out and away from home, and I do not know where you are leading. I am empty, unsure, and uncomfortable. I have only a beckoning star to follow.
Journeying God, guide me so that I may not become deterred by hardship, strangeness, doubt. Show me the movement I must make toward a wealth not dependent on possessions
toward a wisdom not based on books
toward a strength not bolstered by might
toward a God not confined to heaven but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized… Help me to find myself as I walk in other’s shoes.”
(Kate Compton, Jesuit poet)