You weren’t created to be Mother Theresa, or Oscar Romero, or Pope Francis, or Dorothy Day. When you try to be someone you’re not, you’re going against the movement of the good spirit, the Spirit that calls you to be your true self, the unique self God created you to be. This meditation uses parts of Psalm 139 to prompt deep reflection on the way God intimately knows you and intimately created you.

As you pray, you’re invited to sit in awe at the miracle you are: God’s creation.

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Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions.
Even before I speak, you already know what I will say.

How does God know me? When I look into my heart and into my daily actions and into the words I speak to others, what would God see?

You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.

God’s gaze upon us is constant. It is not primarily a gaze of judgement or condemnation, but of love. How does God protect me with his watch?

Where could I go to escape from you?
Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west,
you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night,
but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

God is in all things, in all people, in all places. I can travel to the other side of the earth, I can be in the depths of grief, I can switch off all the lights, I can cover myself in the heaviest blanket, and God would still be with me. How often do I try to escape God’s presence? How often does fear or shame cause me to avoid full transparency with God? Can I be myself before God?

You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.
When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb,
when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there—you saw me before I was born.
The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.

I have been intimately created by God. I am unique and God knows me more intimately than I can even imagine. No one else shares my fingerprints or my unique life story. All the abilities and disabilities I have are part of who I am. All my interests, my passions, my personality, make me me. Can I sit for a moment in wonder and awe at this? Can I praise God for the wondrous human being I am?

O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are!
If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.

God is so far beyond our comprehension! Even if I had knowledge of the entire universe, I still would not fully know God. Yet, day after day I am given intimate knowledge of God, just as God has intimate knowledge of me. Through the created world I come to know God. Through my experiences, my friendships, through prayer, and through scripture I come to know God more and more personally. God is never truly absent. I consider the times I struggle with faith and I ask God for the grace to know God’s intimate presence.

Dear God, intimate Creator and Friend,
long ago you breathed life into me.
You blessed me with DNA and fingerprints,
family and personality,
interests and personal freedom.

I am filled with wonder and awe.

Your Spirit calls me to be the one you intimately created,
the one uniquely blessed, the one true self I am.
I cannot escape this call. I cannot escape you.
Your gaze, ever loving, ever yearning, is upon me.

Be close, see me, form me,
and help me to love the me you intimately created.