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I Am


Painting by Holly Smith

Am I less than because of the stuff I don’t have?
Am I less than because of what I don’t understand?
Am I less than because of my ignorant speech?
Am I less than because of the food that I eat?
How do I measure up to the standard of worth
When I don’t have that particular rhinestone t-shirt?


Have you ever put on a coat… or two or three… before walking out into the freezing cold? When it’s storming, it seems only natural to dress in layers- even if it hides our figure, our beautiful bling, and our rhinestone t-shirts. But when it comes to who we are, we still tend to dress in layers. I Am is a poem that beautifully dispels the myth of our need to pile layer upon layer of how we want to be seen and how we think others expect us to be seen.


Within the poem, it says, “the value placed on things or the beauty of bling is but a false idol, not worth anything.” The more layers we pile on, the more we give into the idol of our image, the harder it becomes for us to show people who we truly are and for us to ever feel valued and connected. Because to feel valued, truly understood and loved, we have to “shake off the shackle” we have to be known- not for our layers but for the beating heart underneath them all.


I Am wrestles through the mindsets of inadequacy we place upon ourselves and ultimately discovers, our value does not come from the things we know, the things we question, or the things we eat. Rather our identity comes from Christ, our “value comes from being a man, redeemed and made clean by the blood of the lamb.”

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