I often feel like a walking contradiction,
My steady undercurrents of easy laughter and unquenchable curiosity,
Wonder at the world and whoever just might be in front of me,
Now, in this moment. Constant.
Contradictions, parts of me that seem permanently altered – damaged,
A hesitancy, where there was once. easy. trust.
I still have faith, I think, in the goodness of my fellow human,
Inhuman, though we can easily become, the evil sometimes seems it has won,
But I still have faith, I think, in the potential for this broken heart to heal,
Bruised and battered, it continues to beat, unsteady as it may seem,
It still. continues. on.
And I still have faith, I think, in a Jesus who awakens our Shalom,
Despite a God also prone to declaring our deaths – massacre,
Stories in the holy text, giving us a few more unexplained,
Maker, created – living contradictions.
Juxtapositions, with the potential to heal and restore a soul to honor,
Equally capable though, it would seem, to sit and do… nothing,
The less just thing,
To actively orchestrate pain, shame, harm, too.
This body, my ever-changing but constant home.
Eager, brown eyes set in this familiar freckled face,
This, me, I should know so well,
I’ve lived with her for 27 years, after all,
And yet, a contradiction.
Abba, God, some days I cling to them,
Other days I struggle to believe in their existence.
Them, a being outside of time,
(They’ve had a lot of eons to sort things out)
They’ve lived forever, after all,
And still, a contradiction.
The Jesus with kind eyes and unusual ideas,
His wild, crazy, open-armed invitation to everyone,
This Jesus is the one who drew me in,
Who kept me close,
Who gifted me with a theology of ubuntu,
Who intertwined spirituality with justice and radical love for my fellow human siblings,
Because HE had, first.
This is the reason I came, why I’ve stayed.
The God of terrible wrath and judgment,
Their inclination towards shame over dignity and honor,
This is the God who pushes me away,
Who orchestrates genocides in the Old Testament,
Who strikes down men for mistakes made in split-second decisions,
Who seems to be the cause of human harm,
Becoming a jarring antithesis to the Jesus they send us later,
This is the reason I struggle to stay, sometimes feel I have left.
A contradiction. Me, God, humanity, life itself.
At odds, sometimes with each other, sometimes with our own selves.
Yet all connected,
Through our intricate contradictions.
Here’s a wish, a hope, a belief that the good is what rings true,
And in the God-Jesus conundrum too.
On the best of days, maybe it already does.
And on the worst, well,
Those days are the reminders that we are messy,
Untidy, not easily understood,
Beautiful. Unpredictable. Painful.
With just enough goodness and wild in us,
To keep moving, choosing, believing,
For a life unafraid of the depths we’re invited into,
Richer because we chose,
To contend with,
The mystery of contradictions.