“I’m Nobody! Who are you? / Are you – Nobody – too?”
When I was a sophomore in college, I recited these lines of poetry with gusto to an auditorium full of middle school students. I didn’t comprehend fully then what Emily Dickinson meant about that inner battle we all face between feeling like a ‘nobody’ while secretly wishing to be a ‘somebody.’ All I knew was memorizing and reciting her poem was my final semester assignment, gusto a big chunk of the grade.
Now, having lived more life, I understand much better what it is to contend with my ‘nobody’ status. I’m no Max Lucado, Priscilla Shirer, or Beth Moore. I’m no Philip Yancey, Lysa Terkeurst, or any of those other spiritual giants.
My words don’t reach millions.
They’re lucky to be read by a few.
But I’ve also learned that throwing ourselves into the false dichotomy of ‘nobody’ versus ‘somebody’ is never what God intended. He doesn’t make distinctions like this. He doesn’t weigh us against some arbitrary, one-size-fits-all popularity standard like we do. He sees in color, variety, individuality, and possibility.
He sees a somebody in me.
And a somebody in you too.
David, the King of Israel and a poet like Dickinson, writes, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14, ESV).
I hope someday to be able to echo David’s words “very well” with gusto like I did Emily Dickinson to those disinterested middle school students. I hope to have full and complete satisfaction for my place in this world.
But until I do, I’m going to choose to dispel the “nobody/somebody” disproportionate thinking. I’m going to remind myself daily—
I’m Somebody’s—I am His and He is mine.
You’d do well to remind yourself too.
*Originally published by The Joyful Life Magazine.