Monday, May 16, 2011

Who are you?

Okay, picture back with me to Alice in Wonderland.  You're a kid, you're watching this terribly peculiar movie with all kinds of characters.  Along wanders Alice into this caterpillar with awesome shoes, and you just know he's going to be funny and great, and all he says, puffing on his colorful smoke: "Who are you?"

And as a kid, you're thinking, "duh, she's Alice!"  But as an adult, I look back and would I even have begun to answer that question. 

Who am I?

Today, I'm wondering what the difference is between who we are - who we know ourselves to be at our cores - and who we are perceived to be.  When a person tells lies about you and they are believed, does their falsehood matter anymore?  The chips are down and you've got to play cleanup, so does it matter that they were wrong to begin with?  And if someone understands you to have a different character than the one you think you have...who is right?  Are you who you think you are or are you who you are perceived to be?

It's a frustrating tangled web to navigate.

But, as a Christian - though I'm sure many would consider me a substandard one, if that matters - I'm encouraged by the fact that Jesus' own disciples misunderstood him.  On many occasions, actually.  In particular, in Mark 4:38, they thought that Jesus didn't care that they were dying.

If Jesus, the best orator, the most genuine, the holiest, and the creator of authenticity, could be misunderstood, perhaps it's okay that I am.  And, I suppose, that who God knows me to be trumps both who I think I am and who others think I am, so I guess I'll go with that for now, and figure out the rest later.