Do you struggle with your inner voice, mocking your faith? You’re not devout enough, you don’t spend enough time in the Word, you need to be closer to God? Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote “Who Am I” just one month before he was executed. This is an English translation of the famous text.
“Am I then really all that which other men tell of, or am I only what I know of myself, restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, trembling with anger at despotisms and petty humiliation, tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I?
This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I?
They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine.”