Monday, November 21, 2011

On my mind...

Who Am I?

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.
Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.
Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself 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,
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!

--March 4,1946

No, I don't live in a prison cell, nor am I held captive by anyone who restricts my movements. But I do live a life where the same people see me every day, walking to classes, walking to the library, going about my daily life- even those on Facebook who see my pictures and posts; they see a person, the one trying to portray myself clearly but often in the best light possible, as we all do. Yes, I am usually joyful and easily delighted by coffee, cheese, and good bread and live music.

But I am also a woman living in a body that doesn't quite look like I think it should; who isn't married like I sort of thought she might be; who feels orphaned because my dad has been gone 5 years; who hasn't committed to living in one location for more than a year since high school which tells the world I can't make up my mind.

There are good and bad qualities existing in this person, sometimes an assured demeanor that is only covering up a girl scared that people will reject her. But through it all, I stand firm (and sometimes shakily) in the faith that there is someone out there so much bigger than I am; a Savior who loves me and has proven his love to me time and time again. Whoever this person is, she is loved.