Sermon

I have been forgiving you
Since the moment
I learned
But how can I respond
When you ask me for forgiveness now
Long after
I have cried my tears
Long after
I have stitched my heart
And coaxed it
To heal
How can I say
I forgive you
When the forgiveness I extended
For so long
Went unseen
How can you ask
“Forgive me”
When you never acknowledged
Your wrong?

I cannot be the one
To give you a badge
That says you have crossed
From that to this

I cannot be the one
To say,
Yes, now you are doing it right.

I did cry a river.
And then I moved my tent
And planted a new garden
New flowers
In new dirt
And I wait painstakingly
To see what grace will emerge
From my pain.

You hurt me.
Instead of speaking truth
You hid it
And when I found it
You ran away
And never looked back
Leaving me
To clear away the shrapnel,
My ears still ringing.

You slipped away slowly
Then quickly
As I grasped at ways to help
Ways to bring you back to life and love.
An honest parting of ways,
An honest confession that you did not love me
An honest word that,
Our time was good but it was over
Would have been a welcome balm.
I grieved that you did not count it worth your own pain
To tell me it was over,
Instead leaving me bewildered
Left to assume what must be true.

I forgive you and forgave you already,
But how can I be your priest
And absolve you of your wrong?
How can I forgive
What you never confessed?

Do not say to me,
“Forgive me, I have changed.”
Tell me the wrongs
That you now recognize
And tell me that you understand
Even a small bit
Of how I must have felt.
Tell me that at last
You feel a little bit
Of my pain
As I once felt yours
So deeply.
Tell me you are sorry.
You are so, so, sorry.

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Entry 6: “Something New”

I just finished watching a movie called “Something New” with Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker (2006). Briefly it is the story of a young black professional woman, Kenya, who is still looking for “the one”, when she is set up on a date by a co-worker. Her date turns out to be a white landscape architect. Throughout the movie you watch both Kenya and her backyard blossom, as she begins to discover what it is she really wants and who she is.

This movie stirred me deeply. It artfully and poignantly highlights a lot of questions of race in America, with a kind of frankness that I find refreshing. It also highlights some values which go even deeper than race or any other demographic divide–the importance of loving, forgiving, and living your life without fear of what others may think of you.

The truth of this movie reminds me that the reality of racial divides is a very real, very difficult and very ugly truth. I want to live in the truth regardless of the continual discomfort it may bring. I also want to live in such love and forgiveness, that even in seeing the ugly face of truth I can fill it with grace and move forward in courage.

Entry 5: A new year

Last Wednesday, September 8th was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the new year in Jewish tradition. I do not have Jewish heritage personally, but the new beginning seems appropriate for the season I am in right now. One of the customs of Rosh Hashanah is to approach the new year with repentance and self-examination. Repentance simply means to turn around, “to do a 180”. One custom (according to wikipedia, for what it’s worth) is to recite one’s sins by running water, symbolizing the sins being washed and swept away. A fresh start.

I am starting my year with Continue reading

To Ponder 1

Since I´ve come to montevideo, being the pondering type that I am, I have inevitably found myself on a spiritual journey as well. This is not surprising, since internal, spiritual growth and changes often coincide with physical ones. And in actuality, it is the internal journey that ends up being the most significant. That said, I intend to chronical peices of my spiritual journey in addition to my normal travel posts. So basically I´ll write about whatever I happen to be pondering at the time.

Today´s thought:

Isaías 54:4-5

¨No temas,porque no serás avergonzada. No te turbes, porque no serás humillada. Olvidarás la vergüenza de la joventúd, y no recordarás más el oprobio de tu viudez.

Porque el que te hizo es tu esposo; su nombre es el SEÑOR Todopoderoso. Tu Redentor es el Santo de Israel; ¡Dios de toda la tierra es su nombre!¨

Isaiah 54:4-5

¨Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.¨

Continue reading

Prayer; changing the atmosphere

I am taking a class this month called “sacred movement”, which explores the idea of using movement and dance as a form of prayer and worship, as expression and communication with God.

One activity we did today was to fill “negative space”. One person would go out into the empty space, and with their body freeze into a shape which represented a specific scenario of pain or need. Continue reading

Forgiveness

One of the hardest things for me to wrap my mind around is forgiveness; even more specifically, the forgiveness of self.

I’ve gotten pretty good as masking or smoothing over a lot of my shortcomings, so it is not often that I am confronted with how difficult it is in fact to forgive one’s self. However, every so often I get my hand caught in the cookie jar Continue reading