Who are you? Seems like such a simple question, right? We have a basic answer, but does it change depending who is asking? Yes, St Paul says "to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" 1 Cor 9:22.
This is not the change I'm speaking about. What St Paul is teaching us to do here is very very important, and may be the only way to share the message of Christ with everyone. As stated in my earlier post, HH Pope Shenouda had this ''I'm on the same level as you" mentality, but brought with it much wisdom.
So again, I ask, who are you? The answer I fear to hear (that I myself give many times) does sadly depend on who is asking me. Do I change my morals or standards or beliefs around others? Am I embarrassed of things I normally do behind closed doors? Is my faith, a 'personal' relationship with Jesus that I don't need to share? Am I two completely different people?
The Coptic Synaxarium, a compilation of the commemoration of events, for today was very interesting. It is a short and nice read. Basically, St Macarius the great and St Macarius of Alexandria, were exiled to an island by an Arian emperor. We may not hear it as often now, but it may be a common idea to us - being exiled that is. It is pretty rough! Imagine being forced out of your home, city, country - and shipped to a foreign land. These two saints weren't just shipped off to a deserted island or anything, they were sent to an island of idol worshipers. What would you do? I would probably hide under a rock until I'd be allowed back home. What did they do? They dealt with love to the people and used the power of the Lord to heal a sick person. Later they preached and ended up turning the whole island into believers of Jesus! How awesome is that?!
Two things I take away from this. First, being true to my beliefs and faith, no matter what. Second, like Christ does with us, they made the best out of the situation they were in. They didn't pout or cry or give up.. they simply said, "Hmm.. well lets make this our new home".
Just like the wise words of HH Pope Shenouda after his exile, he was asked "Are you happy that you are back?" Our response, "You better believe it! Woohoo!!". HH response, "I am happy everywhere. Gladness and happiness depends on the relation between man and God - not outside circumstances"