Queer Theology is hosting a Synchroblog today with the theme “Coming and Going.” The following poem is a result of me reflecting on my journey of faith so far, with the ebb and flow of coming and going. “Amazing Grace” is a Church standard anywhere I’ve attended Christian service, and I wanted to reinterpret the lyrics as they have presented themselves to me in these turning points on the Path. I used a version from the Constitution Society archives, citing John Newton’s lyrics, which were originally published in 1779.
I also can’t help but think about Nietzsche’s The Three Metamorphoses when I think about coming and going in faith and one’s process of identity, as a person of faith or otherwise.
The Ebb and Flow: Coming and Going
Waking up next to my first lover—
lover who, last night was someone I called only “friend,”
lover who teaches Sunday School and
leads the youth group with me,
lover who prays with me, cries with me
and ponders the love of God with me,
lover who shares a sense of humor and physical sex with me, who stays up all-hours-of-the-night playing guitar with me—
naked, sweaty, smiling, I finally understood:
“I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
Coming into a new dimension of love meant “coming out,”
as if the new, blinding radiance of my soul
in love was not enough;
I had to go down to the altar and confess,
as if I was ashamed,
so I went down to the front and,
in the middle of that last holy refrain—
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun . . .”
—shook the dust off from my feet.
Now, in the desert, I can say
that I have never once longed for the bondage of Egypt.
I have come out of my soul’s slavery to
decrees and traditions that force so many
to work themselves to death for the hope of salvation
and beat the questioning into submission;
I have zig-zagged and wandered across this desert for so long,
how far does one go out to come in to a new place?
Certainly one does not go out forever, never to return?
No, the Love who held me then in my blindness will
hold me now in the light of my truth—
“‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.”
—SDR, 2014 ©
Again, check out Queer Theology’s Synchroblog for this and other heart-felt, faith-full posts!