Despite my feeble attempts to find it, even using Google I was unable to locate the exact lyric that is contained in a song by Chicago where a man comes up to the singer and asks something like, “How much is your pay?” Perhaps William who remembers every lyric of every great song can help me. Nevertheless, I was looking for it because there is a lot of truth to the lyric. The Bible is full of stories about this lyric believe it or not. Moses asks God, “Who shall I say sent me.” I think he was hoping for, “tell them I have tanks and missles against your chariots, Pharoh.” Instead, God simply said tell them “I am.” (Exodus 3:14). At the Transfiguration, Peter and John follow Jesus up the mountain where God again doesn’t mince words and says, “This is my son.” ( Matthew 17:5). Jesus walking on water comes to his disciples and simply says, “Take heart, it is I.” (Matthew 14:27). In each verse there is no, what God does or has, it is all about being, simply being.

Perhaps we should all work a little harder at being who we are, than what we have. At the transfiguration Jesus’ face shone. Don’t we all know people who have a similar presence. They light up a room when they enter. Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and Mandela are three that come to mind. If you were the host would you introduce any of them by their financial assets or anything else than a simple “this is.”. Like Jesus at the Transfiguration, there are people whose holiness shines through their humanness. Being famous is not what I am trying to describe. There are even a few I could name who read this post, that I will not embarrass, who are aglow with a spirit that simply “is,” and needs no description. The glow isn’t always permanent. We may see it on the face of a man walking his child in a park, a woman in her garden, or the person walking in the sand along the shoreline watching the waves. In all of us is the potential to be so touching, so incandescent, and so alive that we too are transfigured. We become attuned to our true nature, aware of our surroundings, and simply alive.

We all have the capability to become who we are.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. The reason you can’t find the song by Chicago, is because the song is by the 3 person band Grand Funk Railroad. The name of the song is “In Need” played often at your West 6th Street house during your law school days in Fayetteville.

    The words are:
    I saw an old high school friend, just the other day,
    He didn’t ask me how I’d been, he asked me “how was my pay?”
    Now, do you call this a friendship, judging from what was said?
    If you do, I’ve a real tip: ain’t nobody gonna’ know about my bread.

    If you got somebody, that you can trust to the very end,
    I said if you do, I want to be like you, ’cause you sure got a real good friend.

  2. Suzy said she never doubted your talent one minute. Thank you. Neither did I. You have a talent my friend. A friend defined by the last two lines of the lyric. That lyric deserves it’s own post.

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