“I don’t know who my parents were. I’m told I was abandoned as a baby. Now I’m six years old, and my identity is in Jesus.”
Moving words from this Ugandan girl, part of the Watoto Children’s Choir. Sure, somebody scripted her lines, but she seemed to understand something about identity that many of us struggle to understand.
You had problem parents? She had none. Distorted by your dysfunctional family? She had none. While we in the West struggle to create our identity, she’s found where she belongs.
Perhaps identity isn’t what I create for myself. Perhaps identity is found in connection with others, in belonging, in loving and being loved.
Perhaps that’s why the gospel is so powerful. It gives you a place at the table where everyone belongs. It gives you a place in the family, a place to be at home.
Even if you started life with no parents, you discover your identity from “the Father through whom every family derives its name.” There is no greater experience than “to know this love that surpasses knowledge,” your identity in the Messiah (Ephesians 3:15, 19).
People used to know this stuff. In 1948 Nat King Cole launched his career with a song about a boy who wandered over land and sea to discover, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
[previous: Finding your identity]