The Person I Am Now Is Not the Person You Remember

As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

Luke 24:15,16

I’ve lived away from my hometown since I was 29. In my mind’s eye, everything should have stayed the same. When I returned, abandoned lots became high-rise condominiums, neighborhood corner stores were demolished to make way for fast-food chains, and the wetlands where we caught bullfrogs were developed into a sprawling city center.

In the world of addiction, recovery, codependency, and mental health, some people expect things will stay the same. We expect addicts will remain in active addiction, people in recovery will continue walking their path, codependents will continue to try to control others, and people with mental health conditions will stay on their treatment plan.

When our expectation is not met, and we return to people’s lives after a period of absence, for one day, one month, one year, or one decade, and we recognize that things change, one of two things can happen. If there is progress, we will rejoice. If there is regression, we will be overcome with spiritual malaise.

I quoted an excerpt from the Gospel of Luke when Jesus appears to his disciples, and they do not recognize him. Jesus teaches like the Messiah would, he interprets scripture in the way that the Messiah would, and he dwells with them in the way that the Messiah would. All of the markers are there, but they do not recognize Jesus. It is only through a profound moment of ritual, the breaking of the bread, that they suddenly recognize Jesus.

My question to you is: What does it take for us to have a profound and mystical moment with the divine that will open our eyes to the present reality? What will it take for us to allow our preconceived biases to be released? How can our preferred identities of families, friends, colleagues, spiritual peers, and neighbors be transformed into the present?

God of surprises and transformation, you dwell with us.
Open our eyes to the work you are doing in this moment in time.

Seth Perry

Seth Perry

ELCA Pastor -Devotional Blogger- Mental Health Recovery Educator-Living Well with Bipolar Type 1


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A devotion. Today we consider embracing change. Explore the beauty in life's transformations and how they parallel the change that surrounds us. We'll delve into addiction, recovery, and mental health, discovering joy in progress and acceptance amid regression. Join me in recognizing the divine in the present moment.