- Leah Van Someren
Will You Know Who I Am?
Sometimes, I get in my head. I get meta, existential and lofty. I like that God made me that way. He also made me passionate and fiery - 'a force of nature'. I like that too. But I’ll be the first to say, undirected metaphysical passion can be a shortcut to a high and lonesome tower. With the end of the Race looming only four days away, God continues to reminded me who I am.
And here is His Truth: This is not the end of a mission trip and beginning of something else. It’s life as a whole. It’s the life He’s laid out for us - one lived for loving Him and others. And when I wake up on June 23rd in New York City and then eventually land in Denver on July 2nd, no one in that airport will know I am a ‘missionary.’ No one will assume I’ve been traveling for the last 11 months, serving in 11 countries while wearing the same six outfits. No one will expect the hundreds of goodbyes endured or the number of introductions made. They won’t hear an accent from a mix of languages learned. They won’t infer the number of laughs shared, testimonies told, lives changed or healing witnessed. They won’t see the growth I’ve gone through or the redemption in my life nor will they guess I slept on countless buses for hours on end.
They won’t know about the girls who now love the Bible in Indonesia. They won’t think about the village kids I held who made it through typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. They won’t imagine how sick with food poisoning I was in Colombia or how many times I cursed as my knee killed me walking the Camino. They won’t see the tattoos I got or know what they mean even if they did. They won’t speculate how many people got baptized or who gave their life to Jesus. They’ll have no idea I was a monkey in a children’s ministry party in Peru, nor will they foresee the idols I surrendered at Jesus’ feet. They won’t know I taught english to crowds of farm kids in Cambodia or did physical therapy with disable orphans in Ecuador. They won’t deduce I’ve stared into the eyes of women and girls in the red light districts in Thailand or heard orphans cry in Ukraine. They won’t look for the callouses on my hands from doing manual labor for the persecuted church in Transnistria. Not one will conclude I’ve had my life dismantled by God’s sweet grace - that He’s broken me down and bound me up with Truth that’s as sharp as a sword and as sweet as honey.
I will be just another face in the crowd making my way to baggage claim.
But you know what? Jesus never said, “you’ll be identified as my disciple by how much you serve, give or talk about Me.”
Rather, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
This is not the end and yet, it most certainly is. It’s not the beginning and yet, here we are squinting into the rising sun of newness that marks the dawn of another journey. With each passing moment, we march rhythmically sporadic toward the end of something and the beginning of another. The up and down of a chest filled with a breath drawn in and expelled, only to be sucked in a moment later with no beginning or end.
Do I love perfectly? Heck na. But do I believe it’s worth trying to do so - pushing toward the upward calling in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14)? Yes, absolutely. And that means loving every person like they were created to be, seeking the Kingdom of Heaven and above all, pursuing the Father through the Son by Holy Spirit.
No one will know I am a missionary. But my prayer is people will know I am a disciple of Jesus.