East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Who do you say I am?

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"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

Mark 8:29

 


That verse always stuck out to me. Jesus asking Peter a seemingly simple question, but one actually loaded with profundity. Yesterday, while texting with a friend, she revealed to me she found my Facebook updates and pictures to be somewhat dark. Specifically, the ones dealing with my having CIDP. It wasn't just those posts, though; it's my overall vibe. She found me downtrodden. I was taken aback. Am I the spiritual version of the Charlie Brown character, Pig Pen? 

 

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Over the weekend, all hell broke loose on Facebook (again, I know... I really got to step away). I wasn't involved in the mess, but quite a few members of my family were. At the heart of the heated combox was Joscelyne. Some felt her memory was being disrespected, and they typed vigorously away on laptops and smartphones defending her legacy. Statements were thrown out- she was unloving, uncaring and self-centered. On the other hand, she was a victim of mental illness, religious hypocrisy and an abusive family. The dueling sides had at it like latter day Hamiltons versus Burrs. I couldn't help feeling there were no winners.

 

In the end, ugly inboxed messages were exchanged and accounts blocked. The dust-up was over, but questions still swirled about like Pig Pen's dust. Was Joscelyne crazy? Abused? Could she had been saved? Was her death an accident or a desperate suicide? Who was she?

 

After the text exchange with my friend, I spoke to Joe, Kandi and David. I wanted their individual takes. I knew even if it hurt, they'd tell me the truth. Am I a spiritual succubus, a downright Debbie Downer, or more of a flesh and blood Daria? Once the conversations were complete, I thought about how despite their being similarites in their opinions, there were definite differences. Joe sees me and my writings as being pragmatic and realistic; David said deep and challening; Kandi saw growth, maturity and healing through unburdening. So, who am I?

 

During my Skype call with Kandi, I told her I didn't want to be defined by my illness. Not even as just Zoe's mother or K's wife. Certainly not by my race and gender. No, I want to be defined by Christ. Just as Peter answered simply yet profoundly that Jesus is the Christ, or the Messiah, I desire to be known as one who took up her cross and followed Him. Cloud of dust and all.

 

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