I'm thinking about this question a lot these days. My high school reunion is coming up.
It's another innocent question. Yet in its innocence, it leads down a path that may be true, but also is not the real answer ... at least not the answer I want people to know ... or is it?
I'm a writer. True.
I'm adjunct faculty with the TrueFaced ministry. True.
I'm on staff with The Navigators. True.
Then there is the gramma hat, the neighbor hat, the daughter hat, and many more. I do a lot!
As I pondered my dilemma, God reminded me of the Matthew 17 narrative commonly known as The Transfiguration.
But first, a bit of background.
Up to this point Jesus had been busy teaching, healing, loving those in his path. Many followed his footsteps, awed by his life. At one point, as he concluded "The Sermon on the Mount", the response of the hearers translated in The Message ...
"When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying--quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard."
Matthew 7:28, 29 The Message. (underline mine)
Obviously the crowd is awed. They heard his words. They saw his life, a life that affirmed his teaching and gave permission to his words.
If they had been asked, what does Jesus do, the answers might have circled around his teachings and his doings. But they really did not know who Jesus was.
Skip ahead to Matthew 17 and The Transfiguration. Jesus brings only his closest friends up Mt. Tabor with him. There his appearance is miraculously changed. The friends observing this phenomena are overwhelmed. Peter, the first to gather his wits, suggests a plan of building memorials on the mountain. But before he could even finish his thoughts, God himself interrupts and identifies Jesus, "This is my beloved son..." (verse 5)
Jesus is identified; his real self revealed. Only Peter, James, and John were there to hear.
Jesus didn't identify himself; God identified him.
It's okay to use my hats as identifiers, conversation openers. When God allows deeper, conversation with a few, that is the time to let the hats slide off.
Sue, let God initiate.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay,
to show that the surpassing power belongs to God
and not to us."
II Corinthians 4:7