Tuesday, January 22, 2013

how can we know?

so many things
mask what 
really is

i hid for so long

afraid of what 
others might see
or think

and yet even as i hid 
people saw and thought

i diligently worked 
inwardly to change

to become 
more masculine
more confident
more decisive
more at ease living 
in my own skin
living among the people
i served alongside

i wanted all these 
so as to garner 
so as to be 

and though i diligently worked
i continued to hide

and then i stopped

i stopped hiding
and over time
all the things i had diligently
worked to be
i became

i became

more confident
more decisive
more at ease living 
in my own skin
living among the people
i serve alongside
and in in the end that illusive
definition of "masculine" 
also became something 
i lived into
the way i live into it

i hid
i was ashamed
and ultimately 
i hated myself

and yet
it seems some in the
larger church 
      who frankly didn't care
      much about me when i 
      was busy hiding
and diligently working 
to gain their 
respect and acceptance
that i go back 
into hiding

prefer that 
i define 
the peace
and redemption 
i have discovered 
to be an illusion 
a lie
a sin

their words say 
i remain 
an unrepentant sinner


but how can they know
what sin i have wrestled 
to the ground

how can they know 
when they did not have 
the courage or compassion 
to know me in hiding

how can they know
exactly what i have
offered to GOD 
what i have confessed
what i have let go of
how i have died
and found 
new life

how can they know?

how can they know 
what i continue to 
wrestle with?

how can they know
how their stares 
and words and 

they cannot know

just as i cannot know 
what it is they are hiding from
what it is they are wrestling with
what it is they are diligently 
longing to feel and experience

how can they know?
how can i know?

when we in the larger church
sharing with each other 
our stories
our hurts
our hopes

for it seems for many
that time has past 

i read of churches 
across the country
      some not far from where 
                        i grew up
wanting to break away

they point 
at others
at me and say
that what i have experienced
is false

and yet
how can they 

how can we know?

if we refuse
to listen 

to listen 
not to 
the parsing of polity 
or theology 
but to each other

to each 

we can not listen
to each 
how can we be the church? 

how can they know?
how can i know?
how can we know? 

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