I remember a conversation that I had with a professor when I was in seminary. He said we needed to keep reminding God that we are present in the world as one who belongs to God. “Really?”, I thought to myself; “God needs to be reminded of that?” The class broke for lunch and, as was my habit, I walked into town to get something to eat, all the time pondering what the professor had said. By the time I returned to class, I had my thoughts straight.

I went up to the professor and said something like - “You really think that God needs to be reminded that we exist? That God forgets who we are? The God who calls us by name? (Is 43:1) The God who counts all the hairs on our head? (Mt 10:30) I don’t think so.” The professor laughed; I think he enjoyed the challenge.

I still believe - strongly - that God knows each one of us. We do not need to remind God of that; if anything, we need to remind ourselves. We need to stay close to God - through prayer and worship and community - to remember just how much God loves and values us. Our deepest worth comes through our relationship with God, the one who created us in God’s own image and who counts the hairs on our head. Out of that relationship also comes true freedom - the freedom to be who we have been created to be and to boldly live our lives in the security of knowing that God provides all that we need for abundant life.

How the world sees us and evaluates us is far less important. We need not fear the sting of the world’s condemnation when we look different or act different or live different than the world expects. We need not accept the limitations and constraints that the world tries to impose on us. We are free - free to offer our God-given gifts to the church and to the world; free to live without fear; free to love God, ourselves, and our neighbors. All because God counts the hairs on our head.

That is something to remember. 

Susan Lindberg Haley
Diaconal Minister