Hello. Pleased to meet you. Who are you?
I do not know.
What do you mean, you “do not know?”
I understood from your introduction and question that you would also like to know my name. I do not know it. Perhaps you really wanted to know who I am, yet asked my name instead. I am not my name. I am who I am by my identity, but I did not think this was the answer that you wanted. Please forgive me if I misjudged your question.
Nonsense! Tell me your name!
I do not know my name, but you may call me, “A.B. Leever.”
I may call you “A.B.,” but that is not your name? I do not understand.
“A.B.” is the name that I am called by now, but that is only temporary. My real name is hidden in God. He has named me, but He has not told me my name yet.
You confound me, Sir! I would simply like to know who you are, I do not wish to be convoluted with all this mumbo jumbo!
My apologies, friend. May I ask you your name?
Hey! Why do you expect that I know my name when you do not know yours?
Perhaps, as is the truth for the vast majority of human beings, the eternal God does not have a name for you. It is quite likely that your earthly name given you by your parents is the only name that you will ever know. Do you know that God has a new name for you?
Well, not for absolutely certain. What does it matter?
It is a subject for another time, perhaps. How would you like to be called?
You may call me, “D.W.”
A pleasure to meet you, D.W. And who are you?
I just told you, A.B. ! I am D.W.!
Well, you are called D.W., but that is not who you are. What is your identity? What makes you, you, D.W.? Is it merely the name given you by your parents? Is it the type of work that you do? Is it the members of your family? Who are you?
Hmmm. I’ve never given this much thought I suppose. I work in the Church, mostly speaking, a bit of counseling, some administrative stuff. You know, typical minister type.
Yes, I know. So you are primarily identified by your work?
Well, my work could change … that is not really who I am. I am also married and have three children, and I suppose I would still be a husband and a father even if I left the ministry. I suppose I could define my identity in my wife and children.
Yes, I suppose you could. Is this the substance of who you are?
I am not sure. I guess, my wife could leave me and take the kids … she has threatened to a few times … Yet, for now anyway, I suppose these two things, my work and my family, describe what keeps me busy, mostly.
Are you then drawing your identity from what you do?
This does not seem right either, come to think of it. Who am I? I am D.W. Jr., son of D.W. Senior who was a lawyer, who was the son of K.L. a great chemist, and his father was S.T., a famous college president. I could go on if you like. I have an awesome bloodline!
So you are who you are because of your ancestry?
This still seems off. Some people are great regardless of their parents and background, and some are loosers even though they come from great families. Ancestry really doesn’t mean that much. Well, my congregation loves me and they’re always raving about my sermons. I am a great preacher and do a lot of good in the community. I am loved and respected all over town. I guess that makes me significant, doesn’t it? That makes me who I am!
Great people are not always recognized for who they are, and some men are perceived as great because they do not let anyone know who they really are.
Jesus Christ was hated by his own people, was mocked by His own brothers and sisters, was misunderstood by His closest friends, was betrayed by a trusted disciple, and died homeless and alone… being quite largely rejected by the culture and world in which He lived. Doesn’t sound like he would measure up under your idea of greatness, yet I would say He is the most significant Person that ever lived.
Good point. Hmmm. What really does give me significance? What makes me what I am?
I think that is a good question D.W. Who or what gives you identity, D.W.?
Well, God, I suppose.
True enough. And what identity has he given to you D.W.?
I am not sure. How am I different from the next guy, as far as God is concerned?
Must you be unique to have identity, D.W.?
Well, I suppose not. Who are you, A.B.?
I am, essentially, a loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him.
I figured you would say something trite like that!
Trite? How so?
It tells me nothing about you! I want to get to know you so I have asked who you are. I want to know something of your background, what you like, what you do not like, where you are headed, what you are about … You know?
I see. And my response, this is not what you are after? It does not tell you who I am?
No, it really doesn’t.
Well, it tells you what and who I love and why I am alive. I am alive both physically and spiritually to be in love with God, and to be actually loving Him in each moment of my existence. This is What and Who I love above all else, and What I will continue to love above all else. Loving Him and being loved by Him is the substance of what I am, it is what drives me inside, it is what motivates all that I think, do and say.
Loving Him does not give me significance, however. Nothing that I can be or do can create or add to my significance. There is only one self-significant Being and that is God. Only He can define and give significance. I have significance because He loves me. Nothing else makes me important or significant, not even my love for Him.
In the eyes of men this is not clear, for men esteem the straw as gold, and the dust as silver. A man thinks he is significant if other men admire him or love him, or if he has great wealth, and he thus takes the love of God as a thing of naught. Yet those things which are highly esteemed among men are abomination in the sight of God. To be admired and loved by sinful men, or to be wealthy, does not give one significance. Only the love of God can do this.
I do think that my statement to you, that I am a loved child of the eternal God and that I am in love with Him, I think that this is all that I can say to you about who I really am.
Well, then, “Loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him,” a pleasure to meet you!
So then, “Loved child of the eternal God, who is in love with Him,” what do you do for a living?
Oh no! Not again!!