Our identity could be defined as how and with what measurements we value our life. Our value is interwoven into a view of who we are and how we define what is success. For all of us, but especially men, this is complicated and most of us are a mirror of the values of our parents and upbringing. Even for most who would say they are Christians, the measurement of our value, our identity, is taken from our culture. If we are a successful CEO we are valuable. If we are in the midst of being overlooked for that promotion, we are not.
If we were to ask any man who has just been fired or gone through a divorce, what is the meaning of his life, he will answer that it is in tatters right now. His security is shattered and his identity in question. I met with a man recently who just lost his job of twenty-five years, and he was confused and questioned everything. He was close to jettisoning all faith in God.
We all have wounded hearts and battered selves. What do we do when we fully realize that our identity is wrapped up in all things outward? Maybe, just maybe, that’s the beginning of healing. Brennen Manning writes, “The Spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self.” But there’s the rub, the wounded self, the misplaced identity.
David’s view of his life is radically different than ours. David’s identity is found through his intimacy with God. David’s identity is in his experience of God’s love and the intimacy of God’s heart. The fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich might have been describing David when he said, “Our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously; for our falling does not hinder him in loving us.” David, even in his despair, found meaning through his experience of God’s love.
On the road,