The Rev. Dr. Arthur A. Just shared those words with a group of pastors’ wives this past week. That sentence struck me on a variety of levels. It especially rang true for me regarding my barrenness. Our culture tends to identify people in regards to who they are. Are you married? Do you have children? Who are your parents? This same culture wants to know what people can do. Can you bear children? Can you prevent the birth of children? Can you control the number of children you’re having?
For so many years, I have identified myself by what I CANNOT do. I cannot produce children upon demand. I cannot choose when to have a child. I shamefully acknowledge that I am a product of a sinful world. Any children that come to me are purely received as gifts from our Heavenly Father.
So – Who am I? I am God’s child. My true identity is found in Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior, and He died to make me whole. If I am barren, what can I do? I can receive God’s good gifts when they are given to me. Those gifts are found in His Word and Holy Sacraments. To receive is exactly what I can do. I can serve my neighbor in love.
In Christ, I know who I am and what I can do. I can love my neighbor, even if that neighbor is not born of my own flesh.