In the Broadway version of Les Miserables, reformed convict number 24601 muses the question, “Who am I?” Really, his story was not much different from other embittered criminals.
Except… he met grace.
Afterward he shed the name Valjean, slipping easily into new clothes and a fresh life — determined to forget the past.
(But redemption doesn’t work like that, does it? It’s much more relentless in its loving.)
And so, against the golden vision of what he had become lay the undeniable gloom of who he had been; only the recollection of Calvary could reconcile the fiery light of grace with the deep shadows of the past.
“Who am I?
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I’m not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?…
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on
Who am I? Who am I?
I am Jean Valjean!…
Who am I?
This is my story; a strange and sanctified twist of the already arrived and the not-yet-but-I’m-coming. What I’ve mainly learned about myself can be summarized in five words (oddly enough, the number most often identified in the New Testament with grace). I
have learned am learning that
“I am not the Christ” (John 1:19-20)
What remains is an eclectic collection of paradoxes, ironies, and awkward twists of tonal diversity (thrown in, just for fun). By His grace and I am a:
child of the living God (John 1:12-13)
sinner redeemed by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10)
book lover voracious reader I read or I die
lover of theology, rainy days and
a cup pots of hot coffee,
consummate techie with a zest for wannabe photography
seminary student with a penchant for (loving) debate
companion of broken things and wounded hearts
I am a wife and mother — a twice-failed Martha often found quailing at the base of Mount Washmore, clinging to the patchwork grace woven for me from before the foundation of the world (Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:3–10, 2 Timothy 1:9).
In short, I am a Sinner, a scholar; a sometime blogger living in the shadowlands, somewhere between doubt and doxology.