I AM | Seeds of Hope 2022

 I AM | Seeds of Hope 2022

Exodus 3:13-14

Moses said to God, “But when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?” God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”

Listen to today's story seed. A young couple had a baby girl, and within a year, she was walking and talking. One of the first words she learned was “sure.”

“Would you like something to eat?” her parents would ask her.

“Sure,” she would reply. Almost anyone who heard her fell instantly in love with this child. She had long, curly blond hair—the kind of curls some people dream of! And her personality was filled with excitement and wonder.

She quickly learned the words, “please” and “thank you,” and she regularly used them. When she would see her aunts and uncles and grandparents, or when her parents would come home after work, she would run to them with a huge smile and get scooped up for a hug.

By age three she was correctly using words like “peculiar” and sentences like, “Oh, we are content with having root beer popsicles.”

Her baby brother arrived that year. He was not quite as quick to walk, nor was he near as quick to talk. This is a real couple. It’s not a fictional story. The parents have given me permission to tell it. As the little boy moves toward his second birthday, he says very few words.

Occasionally his parents hear him say, “Mamma” or “Dada.” Every once in a while it sounds like he is saying a sentence, but it is hard to tell exactly what he is saying. Mostly what he does is grunt. “Ahh” or “uhh” and other such utterances.

He clearly understands things like, “Do you want an apple?” and “Put that pot back in the cupboard.”

Lately, though, the little boy has been saying, “I am.”

It is not always clear when he says it, but his mother loves to hear him say it. She thinks it is a beautiful place for him to begin his speech. “I am.”

She explained that he uses it, she believes, to convey “I am hungry” or “I am tired” or “I am ready to go outside.” What he says, though, is “I am.”

We use this phrase “I am” a lot in life. For instance, “I am a priest. I am a Jesuit. I am a man. I am a storyteller. I am a good listener. I am a friend.”

The first child in this story, we describe as a quick learner, enthusiastic, beautiful, polite. We can also use descriptions for the second child. Sometimes a parent’s fears and reality suggest the boy is “slow” or “delayed” or “deficient.” As we continue in life, these descriptions can become titles, and we start to think our titles and descriptions are who we really are.

I am a doctor. I am a lawyer. I am a football star. I am a mayor. I am a scientist. I am a garbage collector. I am a Nobel Prize winner. I am a convict. I am a wife. I am a husband. I am divorced. I am happy. I am sad.

At our core, we are not any of these labels. Learn the lesson that this not-yet two-year-old boy is teaching us. Before the labels society puts on us, we are part of the great I AM.

It is a lesson worth remembering. Moses was at the burning bush when God told him that I AM was the one sending him. Moses didn’t get the Israelites out of Egypt alone. God was always with him. This Lent, take some time to slow down and ponder that.

Underneath all the words and titles and descriptions is the core of who we are—the God spirit that dwells in each of us. Spend some time with the great I AM in you.

Now let’s take 30 seconds to water the seed…

Watering the Seed

How do I experience the I AM in me?

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