When Moses asked God, “But what am I to tell the Israelites if they ask your name?” the Lord’s reply was, “I am who am.”
God was who he was. In other words, God had no false self image. We, on the other hand, have not only false images about ourselves, but also about everything around us. We hide behind our real selves even under the pretense that we are seekers of truth. We are afraid of our true self image being seen by others, or even by ourselves.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, they discovered a knowledge of themselves they were not aware of before. Then they hid behind “fig leaves.” When God approached the garden and called out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you,” it’s not that God could not find them, but it implies their image had changed and they were no longer recognizable.
Adam answered that he had seen himself uncovered—he saw himself as he really was—and became afraid, so he hid. Adam and Eve hid their true selves before God. They denied who they really were.
The act of disobedience demonstrated that Adam and Eve did have the freedom to express a will of their own. How else could we have known God gave us free will? What they did with the wisdom they gained was an act of deception along with their act of disobedience. Would facing God with the truth have saved them from being expelled from Paradise?
In this light we can begin to unfold and reveal our bare persons to God and present our true selves; so with God’s grace, we can grow to become as our brother, Jesus, who came to set us free. Let’s start by saying, “Today, I am who am.”