A Yahoo news story this week called “Argentine stolen at birth, now 32, learns identity” caught my attention. Its message lingers in my mind.
Argentine security forces kidnapped a pregnant woman 33 years ago. She gave birth in prison to a boy. The newborn was taken from her and soon after the mother disappeared. One of the military officers brought the baby home to his wife.
Earlier this month the son and his birth father finally were reunited. The story is heartbreaking to read.
As I look at my own granddaughter I can’t imagine living in a society that disrespects human life, tears families apart, and imprisons people for standing up for freedom. Even though the democratic process is at times frustrating, I am so thankful for our country.
But this story provokes another feeling within my heart when I read this quote from the newly found son:
“For the first time, I know who I was. Who I am,” the young man said, still marveling at his new identity. To have your identity is the most beautiful thing there is.”
Don’t we all go through life trying to discover who we really are? Like freedom, our identity is a fundamental aspect of our life journey. Who am I, at my deepest core, under all the masks and layers of ego and false self?
Wayne Muller in his book, “How Then Shall We Live?” writes, “We must take great care with how we name ourselves. When we take our name, we are declaring in some subtle, indescribably potent act the most intimate, sacred truth of who we believe ourselves to be. N. Scott Momaday in his autobiography The Names tells us ‘A man’s life proceeds from his name, in the way that a river proceeds from its source.’”
A few years ago a psychologist told me upon hearing my life review that he thought I had outgrown the person I used to be and was evolving into a new stage. I was discerning if I should retire early to pursue other dreams. What I saw as turmoil, he saw as transformation.
Digging deep to that core identity is hard inner work. When I did retire, I felt like a 14 year old again struggling to figure who I was since I no longer had a title, a job and all the trappings that accompany the false ways to answer the question of Who Am I.
But I do know who and whose I am – I am a Child of God. God is the source of the living stream that all life precedes. God adopts us as His children, even though we are apart from Him at birth, we will be reunited one day. He searches for us and waits for us with open arms as did the Argentinean father who finally found his son.
We are children of God and “to have your identity is the most beautiful thing there is.”