I am visiting my mother this week. I am staying with Mom in her apartment at the retirement community where she lives in Wheaton, Illinois.
This week is the year anniversary of my father’s passing on to his eternal reward. He is greatly missed.
My mother is doing well. She is active –
- physically – exercising regularly
- mentally – coordinating library services for her community
- spiritually – attending her local church and involved in Bible study in her community.
God has been so faithful.
Mother is very quick to give God the glory!
As we walk the hallways (two miles of carpeted hallways here), we see many people who I knew while growing up here in Wheaton. One lady yesterday said to me – “Oh, Gayle, I remember you in “Oklahoma” our school musical that year.
That was in 1969!
What really has struck me is the fact that I am immediately identified as Esther’s daughter. I was walking alone in the hall and a resident stopped me and asked me who I was. “You look familiar.” she said.
When I told her who I was and that I was Esther Barker’s daughter, she responded, “Of course! That is why you looked familiar. I knew Esther when she was your age.” (I now look very much like my mother did when she was 65.)
I have been told I look like my mother my whole life. I have never been ashamed of that fact – since it was so consistently expressed, it has always been one of those givens of my life, like having brown eyes, or being taller than average.
I have always been identified as Esther’s daughter.
That is who I am.
Is my identity as a daughter of my heavenly Father as easily identified? Do individuals that do not know me see Jesus in me?
Is Jesus evident in my words and actions?
That is who I am.
Paul says in Romans 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
I realized that I have never been ashamed of being identified as Esther’s daughter because of the unconditional love she has always demonstrated toward me.
An even greater love has been demonstrated to all of us in God’s giving His one and only son – Jesus – as the sacrifice for our sins.
I am not ashamed of the gospel. My desire is that I live in such a way that people identify me with the gospel.
May we live in these troubled times sharing the unconditional love our Heavenly Father has so freely shared with us.
Let us live – not ashamed to be identified with Jesus.