I Am

September 9, 2008 at 2:15 pm 3 comments

Just over a week ago (apparently, I like my posts to ferment a while) we had a guest preacher at the Church. Of the set readings for the day, he chose to preach on the lesson from Exodus- The Call of Moses, and the revelation of the Divine Name.

Heady stuff. It’s a powerful story.

And it is a story. Which means when we interact with these sacred stories, there is an interplay of storyteller, the text itself, and the hearer. The text itself is rather immutable. But each time I hear this story (or any other) I am a different listener, the text speaks to me in a different way, and the Divine Self is revealed anew. I love that.

This time, the preacher (a classics scholar, and teacher, and quite a decent preacher) mused about some different angles on this story, and different ways that answer, “I Am” can and has been interpreted. He talked about the power of names- Moses’ great presumption in asking for a name, and that answer as both denial and reprimand. But the bit that stuck with me was talking about the Divine Self refusing to be pigeonholed by the giving of a name. “I Am what I Am”… and what I Have Been and what I Will Be. The preacher connected the refusal of a name with the refusal a definition, and a limit.

And at that point, my brain went off on a little tangent. (This is the cool thing about preaching. When people stop listening to you, sometimes it means you’re doing it very well). What does it mean for me, created in the image of I Am That I Am, to refuse a definition, and a limit? It connected, for me, with what I’ve been reading about in the fatosphere, and what I’ve been thinking about.

I too, Am That I Am. And nobody can know the fullness of what I Am from seeing only one part of me. I am nobody’s headless fattie. I am not your cautionary tale about the dangers of donuts. People who see me out in the world (and even those who know and love me) know nothing about what I eat, how I move, my health, my politics, the coherence (or not) of my worldview, or the innermost longings of my heart. Nobody can know all of me based on the part of me that is showing at any one moment. There is much about me that even I don’t know yet.

I Am that I Am, and what I have been, and what I will be.

And… if I assert that this is true of me, then I must also assume that it is true of you. You Are That You Are. And everything I assume about you- your politics, your motives, the innermost longings of your heart… is suspect. You are more than my mind can encompass. You are infinite. You Are.

I claim this for myself, created in the image of the God who is revealed in this story. I Am. I Am all that I Am, and no more, and certainly no less.

A while ago (about the time I heard this sermon, about 2 weeks) someone was asking about T-shirts.
I think this is one I could wear.

I Am.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

This is my body… Discipline and Self-Control

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SugarLeigh  |  September 9, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    What a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing it. I study folklore and religion. Stories of people. Sometimes I think the stories we tell are more telling than the facts.

  • 2. Tal  |  September 9, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Beautiful post.

    Thank you for reminding me that there are no limits, and no definitions that encompass me, or anyone else for that matter.

  • 3. pyewacketsid  |  September 9, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Very, very cool. Thank you.

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