I stood, patiently awaiting the moment I would be allowed to take my seat. I was preparing to experience an evening at World Cabaret, an annual show put on by Safira’s Center for World Dance.The theater smelled familiar – it was either the scent of a roller skating rink or a bowling alley, I couldn’t discern which. As I stood, dancers occasionally filed past, some in costume, some in their civvies. Many walked by and made the self-important, slightly irritated, terribly busy sigh – I’m sure you’ve heard it before. They walked by in groups, laughing and excited.
I stood, trying my hardest not to look foolish or out of place. Unfortunately I was finding this terribly difficult to do in my handsome black jacket, clashing brown shoes and beanie-mussed hair. It was snowing that night, so my appearance was dictated by my circumstances more than my keen fashion sense.
I found myself amazed at my need to fit in with these dancers – I wanted them to smile or at least acknowledge me. There are very few times or places where I would desire confirmation. Typically, I’m quite comfortable in who and where I am, regardless of the circumstance.
But that night, surrounded by people I didn’t know and who were too busy/important to take stock of me, I felt out of place, unsure of how I should act, embarrassed about the way I looked.
That night, I didn’t have an identity. I was some random guy in a place where he didn’t really belong (I had left my ticket at home, so dropping Hayley off early, I moved past the ticket-taker-station, and went right to the door). I was easy prey for feelings of self-doubt, the need to associate with something, anything that gave me meaning and a desire to just leave.
There are thousands of people – perhaps you’re one of them – who live with this experience on a daily basis; they don’t have a clear picture of who they are or don’t feel like they belong anywhere. I believe our job as followers of Christ is to help them discover, uncover and enhance their unique God-given identity. Once they discover who God has called them to be and the desires He has for their life, sharing the saving power of Jesus will be a cakewalk.
So let’s do that. Let’s be people who know who we are and help others learn the same.