When I first read Bonhoeffer:
There remains an experience
of incomparable value.
We have learned to see
for once
the great events of
world history

from the perspective
from below—
of those who suffer,
the outcast,
the reviled,
the tortured,
the powerless,
the maltreated,

When I first read that
I thought about
those people,
those others,
the ones on the wrong side
of the tracks,
Imprisoned
Enslaved
Forgotten.

Those people, indeed!

Allow me, dear reader,
to show you my superman,
uber mensch cape!
Roger saves the day!

What I didn’t realize,
foolish youth,
Was that I had to identify
And acknowledge
and name
the parts of me that were
Outcast,
Tortured,
Reviled,
Powerless,
Enslaved,
Forgotten.

And only once I grieved
and wailed
And cried out,
why God, why?

Only then could I let go,
engage in the deep action
of kenosis, the very heart
of the Jesus project,

in order that I might be filled
with the humility and self-awareness
Necessary
To be in solidarity,
with even one other person,
Whose dignity reflected
the very alterity of God.

A Prayer

Courage for the Journey

In the moments of our deepest fear,
may we find strength for the journey
and courage.

In the moments of our confusion and uncertainty,
may we find clarity —
clarity of heart, clarity of mind,
clarity of spirit.

In the moments when we don’t know which way to go,
may the path be found and the courage to take the first step
and the next.

With God’s help and grace.
Amen