Columnist says she wants to be known by others as 'one who lives in the presence of God'

Who are you? Throughout my day, others decide who I am. To my husband, I am intelligent, funny and cute. When I walk into a store that sells baby clothes and toys, the clerk sees my purse and graying hair. She pegs me as a potential customer, looking for something for my grandchild. Downtown on my lunch hour, those I walk by see a white female, walking casually, available to make eye contact. I am not a threat. Back at my desk after lunch, I'm a responsible worker.

For practical reasons, who I am is determined by where I am and what I'm doing. We need each other to behave according to the context we are in. If I were to go to work and ask a co-worker where the train sets are located, he would look at me funny. Unless I asked my co-receptionist Patty.

There's an overlap. If you asked Patty about me, her telling would be similar to what several others see. And because I asked her where she bought one, she could even tell you I'm looking for a train set.

But I wished none of this mattered. Practicality aside, what if our culture was designed differently? In church we sing, "Jesus is the center of it all." In Ephesians we are told we are God's children, free, with the Holy Spirit living inside us. Together, believers are the temple of God.

In King Hezekiah's time, he repaired the temple of God. He brought in the priests and encouraged them to stand before and serve God. We, as believers who pray for others' needs, behave as priests. As we help others, we are serving God. Every time we obey the Holy Spirit's leading, we are saying yes to God and his lordship. Do you agree?

Knowing we are the place where God lives, how can we sit still? We are not here to just survive and thrive. We are to proclaim! When someone asks who I am, I want to be able to say, "I am one who lives in the presence of God." King David said it about himself. Why can't we say it too?

In Psalms, David declared he was in God's presence. There is nowhere we can go that God is not there. God is everywhere. In the 41st Psalm, it says God set David in his presence forever. That same relationship is available to us. The 89th Psalm says we will walk in the light of God's presence as we praise him.

I know this can sound foolish. Do you want it anyway? In God we live and move and be. I want to shout out the reality and goodness of God.

This column is a proclamation. I believe God will honor my desire for additional opportunities to stand and serve. God willing, I will keep you updated on what happens next.

Suzanne Ybarra can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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