Remember Who You Are

Psalms: Songs of the Heart

In a busy world, full of distractions and spin, how can we be true to who God has created us to be? Andrea Ackermann unpacks Psalm 139, reminding us of truths about our identity that are vital for living well. [Psalm 139]


Prayer of Examen (from Learning to Live, by Justin Fung)

Centuries ago, a man named Ignatius of Loyola developed a prayer of daily examination—what people in recovery might describe as a “fearless moral inventory.” It has become known as the Daily Examen. It rests on the assumption that God is at work and can be known in the everyday, that God’s Spirit speaks to us and we can hear from him, and that our lives can be transformed as we become more aware of him.

This is how Richard Peace explains the three steps of the prayer of examination:

  1. Gratitude: In your mind, go back over the previous twenty-four hours and notice all the gifts God has given you and be grateful.

  2. Awareness of God: Go back over the same twenty-four-hour time period and this time look for the presence of God in your life. Recall the thoughts, words, and deeds of the day. Where was God in all of this? Where was there love, joy or peace in your life? What made you happy? Sad? Stressed? Confused? How was God with you in the hard times or in the joyous moments? Did you experience the presence of God in other people?

  3. Confession: Reflect on the previous twenty-four hours again. This time look for those instances in which you slipped up, said no to a chance to reach out, or in some way failed to be who God calls you to be.

(Ignatius had five steps, which Richard Peace simplified to three steps in his book Noticing God. You can find out more about the five steps here:

“Where I Wander,” by Levi Yitzhak

Where I wander – You!
Where I ponder – You!
Only You, You again, always You!
You! You! You!

When I am gladdened – You!
When I am saddened – You!
Only You, You again, always You!
You! You! You!

Sky is You, Earth is You!
You above! You below!
In every trend, at every end,
Only You, You again, always You!
You! You! You!

“The Sixth Day,” by Bonnie Thurston (from Genesis 1:26-28, 31)

No one else can teach you
to read the book of your body.
You must learn its language –
its little, grunting inarticulacies,
its unutterable stillness,
its symphonic movements –
in your own way and time.

The wisdom of the flesh
is deep as earth’s dust,
high as heaven’s animating wind.
Clay feet tie us to the ground,
but we sail on the sea of the senses,
and our hearts beat
the rhythm of the stars.

No one else can teach you
to read the book of your body,
but you must learn its language.
Trust it speaks truth
and soar on the strength of your scars.
Trust it speaks truth
and wear your wounds as wings.