Over the past two days, we’ve touched on the questions–Who you be? and Where are you from?–and today the final question we will tackle in this trifecta of truth is Whose are you? As a gullah-geechee girl from Charleston, SC, which we affectionately call “The Chuck,” we might put this another way and simply ask Who yo’ people? (Yes, I know…the verb is supposed to be missing)
In other words, to whom do you belong? Who are your parents, your siblings, your aunts and uncles, your spouse…your family–in the natural–the people that have helped shape your identity? But when you truly know who you be and where you are from “in time” and “beyond time,” you recognize that though you belong to a natural family that has helped to shape your identity, your essence is spirit and we all come from that universal Spirit that gives us our true identity.
Right before Jesus’ own expedition in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry, the question of to whom Jesus belongs was undoubtedly, undeniably, and unequivocally answered. Although Jesus had a natural family–having been born of Mary and raised as the son of Joseph, he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, after Jesus’ baptism in chapter 3 of the gospel of Matthew, a voice from heaven declares, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”(verse 17) Jesus belonged to God–not the type of belonging that connotes ownership but the sense of belonging that intimates mutuality, community, and identity. God declared the three things that every one wants to hear from those to whom they belong in the natural and the spiritual–you belong, you are loved, and you matter–not for what you do nor because of what you do. However, truth be told, most people have a hard time separating you from what you do or from how what you do can benefit them. The voice from heaven, however, makes this three-fold declaration at the baptism before Jesus started his ministry and before Jesus had even overcome Satan in the wilderness. So, please know right now, right where you are “in time” and “beyond time,” and without doing anything…you belong, you are loved, and you matter!
We are all born with that spark of the divine, which is Spirit, but we have to make a conscious decision to choose Spirit. As soon as Jesus was baptized into his spiritual family, the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove in Matthew 3:16, and that same Spirit also led Jesus directly into the wilderness for 40 days. How many of you have a story or two or fifty of how the Spirit led you somewhere that did not make a lick of sense in the natural or somewhere that simply took you way outside of your comfort zone? Trust me, I have had my share of adventures with Spirit, and once you choose life in the spirit, the adventures are nonstop!
The question Whose are you? can be answered by simply stating who your family members are and it can also be answered by choosing to activate that spark of the divine within you–which is Spirit. Whether you choose to or not, however, you have a Creator who declares to you that you belong, you are loved, and you matter!
RECOMMENDED JOURNAL EXERCISE: This is a great time along the journey to check our bags to determine if we are carrying too much weight. In the words of the inimitable Erykah Badu from her song Bag Lady, “…you gone hurt your back dragging all them bags like that. I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you…so, pack light.” Take a few moments to reflect on the following questions and write your answer to each in your journal. Take about 5 minutes for each question.
- Whose are you?
- Who has affirmed that you belong, you are loved, and you matter?
- What event(s) has affirmed that you belong, you are loved, you matter? (For some this might be your baptism, for others it might be the intimate act of truly being seen by another person, etc.)
Tara LaShawn Seabrook is a self-proclaimed “free spirit,” a public, practical, and prophetic theologian; a spiritual and social justice activist; a creative and cultural artist; and a prolific teacher, speaker, and writer. Currently, she resides in Guatemala where she is finishing up a 2-year volunteer in mission commitment with a non-governmental organization before returning to her native Charleston, SC in the spring of 2017. Her book based on her original poem, “I Am She: The Anthology” will be released later this year.