Everybody's taking them.
They can be kind of fun, like when we get to see our daughter's pregnant belly shot, or when we get to put heads together with that friend we've long missed. Selfies can also help us see ourselves the way others see us, and for that, they may have value. Most days, I wouldn't be caught dead in a selfie. They show what I really look like...yikes.
But, whether I want to show myself off to someone else or not, I'd better know who I am. I need to know where to find my own borders--the boundary lines that mark off who I am from who I am not. I may not make beautiful material for a selfie, but I am. Just that. I am. I exist. I have been given a real, palpable life and corporeal flesh.
Most of us don't know where to begin to think properly about ourselves. We can turn around our little camera phones and snap them, but of what have we taken a picture? Of whom? What am I? Wife? Mother? Writer? Lover of God? Teacher? Citizen of the United States? Yes, all of these, but they aren't really who I am. These are what I do or where I live. I am more than these.
I am that unique signature that doesn't change regardless of how old I get, or where I live, or what I do. I am someone separate and particular before the Lord. I soar and invent and love and fail and sin in a way peculiar to myself alone. I am the whispers of my heart, the flight of my soul. No one is completely like me. I am known to God by my own unique name. I am created in the image of my own Creator.
Jesus knows me this way. He knows me according to who He made and recognizes me by what He did to me and gave to me. In return, He wants me to recognize Him the same way, but He has a much clearer understanding of who He is than I do. And He didn't hesitate to say so:
I AM the Bread of Life--John 6:35
I AM the Light of the World--John 8:12
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life--John 14:6
I AM the Door--John 10:9.
I AM the Good Shepherd--John 10:11
I AM the Resurrection and the Life--John 11:25
I AM the Vine--John 15:1
Strong statements. So strong they got Him killed.
This is the bold Jesus I can't help but follow. He gives us a picture of value and strength and confidence and, to the extent we can follow Him, the original from which we can stand in reflection. We can look like Christ, all parts of Him. We will not BE God, but we can LOOK LIKE God.
When Christ talked about Himself, he never flinched or hesitated. He behaved outrageously and to be sure, to say that we can be like Him is an outrageous statement. But I can say it anyway. I can say it because I have God's permission and example to say it.
Before Abraham was, I AM.--John 8:58
Because You are, I AM.