December 29, 2011 — Who Am I?

Grief  is a strange companion.

You never know when he will show up or what will be his weapon of choice at any given moment.
The other day, I was working on cataloging the video that we were able to shoot while in Brazil in Algodao de Jandaira.
It was an amazing privilege to be there and to speak at the dedication of a memorial to the Bible, to commemorate what God has done in this desert community. The transformation of this community is the theme of the book I wrote about Algodao de Jandaira, called When God Transforms the Desert.

If you would like a copy, email me at with the number you want and a shipping address.

Well, part of the footage I reviewed was of my visit to the mountain top at Algodao where I put a picture of Marilou and myself in the crevice of the rocks there and spread her ashes across the top of the mountain. As I watched the footage, I looked at the person on the screen in front of me, and thought…. “who is that?”
 that old man…

“Who am I?”  I’m not sure I even know myself anymore. There are those times (it’s been a while) when on the inside I feel young and full of enthusiasm, but then I see a picture of myself and it almost hurts. And now that I am alone, it is even more of a question… “Who am I?”

I know all the “spiritual” and “psychological” answers, but the reality is, I have begun a quest to figure out who I am now. Who am I to be? I don’t think I realized, and I don’t think even Marilou ever realized how much of my identity was wrapped up in who we were together. It’s the kind of thing where you don’t realize what it is like until it’s gone.

This is a question that is not answered by zippy little phrases. This is a question that comes from the very core of the being… it challenges trite and simple answers. It’s the kind of question you ask when you look yourself in the mirror and you’re not sure you recognize that person anymore. It’s the kind of question you ask when you don’t remember how you got to where you are. And you are not sure where you are going. I have a whole list of things from the Bible that I have studied in these last months about who I want to be. But this question of “Who Am I?” is deep, it searches past the trivial and surface existence in which we live most of our lives. “Who the heck am I, anyway?”

I guess that is part of the adventure that I am on with my “Daddy” now. Maybe a combination of finding out who He made me to be in this chapter of my life, and “reinventing” myself… into what, I’m not sure right now.
 I have a cold now, with cough and aches, so I suppose that adds to my vulnerability  to these kinds of questions. And it’s always weird watching yourself on video. But it is still a challenging question, after 63 years, trying to figure out who I am!!!  What does it mean to me now, to live alone? Should I, do I want to, stay that way?

I guess that’s part of the “adventure,” right? Otherwise if would be called something other than an “adventure.”  I wonder who I will turn out to be? Today, I feel pretty vulnerable. It just seems to weird talking about this at my age. But no matter what, I do want to finish strong. I want to point people to our Great God. I want to be faithful. I want to be like Caleb who conquered his mountain in the last season of his life.

As I enter into a New Year, maybe as never before, the question looms before me…”Who Am I?”  The answer will follow…

…till later…

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One thought on “December 29, 2011 — Who Am I?

  1. Hi Steve,
    As I read you post today, I thought of the devotional I read from Rick Warren earlier today.
    I know that as you travel this adventure, you will go through "seasons" just as all of creation does – seasons of growth (summer and spring)and dormant seasons (winter and fall)–
    As you spoke of Caleb, I too have looked at his life and asked God to allow me to take that journey across the Jordan and lead one more team of His people into a foreign land with His message — finishing strong . . . be grateful to God and take "pride" in all that He has done, is doing and will continue to use you . . .

    "One kind of pride is self-centered or comparative … That kind of pride is sinful. But you can take pride when you compare yourself to yourself and show improvement." Rick Warren

    Galatians 6:4 says, "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else" (NIV)

    "Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best." Colossians 3:22 (MSG)

    Finish strong for His glory, my brother . . . as I pray I will also do
    Love ya bro . .