"For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth."
Have you ever had the experience of being "pigeonholed"? You know what I mean, right?--when someone who has just met you or barely knows you makes assumptions about you--what you are like, what you think and believe, who you are. This happens to me most often because I am the pastor of a church. On more than one occasion, upon meeting someone for the first time socially--when they discover that I am the pastor of a church--very often one of two things happen. If they are a church-going Christian, they often assume that I must share their theological and political beliefs--because there is just one "Christian" way of looking at issues, right? If they are not into "organized religion," then often a look of consternation crosses their face and other assumptions are made about me--that I must be intolerant or a hypocrite or stupid or, at the least, about to proselytize them.
I'm overstating it, perhaps. And this doesn't happen all of the time, but often enough that I notice it. Though I have gotten used to it, I find it discouraging and confining. Because the truth of who I am has nothing to do with what my vocation is, where I live, how much money I make, the color of my skin, my political opinions or theological outlook, or any other extraneous detail about my existence.
What matters is my humanity. What matters is your humanity. What matters is that, like all human beings, our existence flows from the creative impulse of God who "knits us together in our mothers' wombs"--to paraphrase Psalm 139.
I pray that when you find that you have been placed in a box--because of your age or sex or race or religion or any other extraneous detail about you--God will give you the grace to remember who you are and whose you are.
Beloved child of God.
And may being so reminded empower you to break out of the box to simply live as YOU.