Saturday, September 4, 2010

I am Jessi Turner

Can Jessi Turner be defined. Should I be able to look my name up in the dictionary and find a one sentence answer of who I am or what I do? I am not just a noun. I am a verb and an adjective too. Today, you could describe me one way. Tomorrow...if I wake up spicy, you would probably describe me another. When I was 6...who was I? Or 16? Who will I be next year at 26? Who will Jessi Turner be at 86? Do I define myself or am I defined by the people I surround myself with. My experiences? My career choice? Is God the definition giver or do we work together..or am I on my own in this?

We have a new pastor at our little home church. He has an accent. He is from England. His wife is Russian. The accent helped me listen. I decided he is a good speaker. I have started journaling while I'm at church. I don't think it helps me listen any better but it does help me remember what happens to me or things I find interesting. Today, while I was listening and journaling I heard the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I know nothing about Dietrich other than that he is famous. The pastor mentioned a book I should read and the following is a portion of it.

Who Am I?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Am I then really all that which other men tell me of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my thoat,
Yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

I am not sure that this clears up any of the above questions, but it is a thought to think on a bit more.


TaraB said...

That last part really got me. "Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!" I feel like that gives me a lot more direction in life. Thank God.

Nicholas said...

there's a documentary about dietrich bonhoeffer. it's pretty good. you should check it out. and my latest thought on identity is that a huge part of it is our CHOICE.