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Original Blessing

 

I was blessed at birth
And have struggled to reclaim the blessing
In my innocence, I was loved unconditionally
Simply for being me,
A cute, cuddly, baby boy with curls galore

But somewhere along this path of life
I came to be seen less charitably

I suspect it had nothing to do with the real me
But with the me I was perceived to be
With how the fragility of infancy is morphed
Into the suspicion of adolescence
And the distrust of adulthood

It is not that I too haven’t changed
But only my culture’s perception

For though the curls remain
And the eagerness to be loved survives
I have been shaped by how I’m viewed
And by my reactions and responses
To opinions and dispositions flung my way
All of which I must accept the lion’s share

Yet, if I could, I would opt for a different past…
a different world

One still endowed with the love I once knew
And with the grace of trust that was once bestowed and projected
But devoid of the separations that civility incites
And the loneliness that being one’s own person imbues

I yearn for a world where compassion is our first and final gift
And loving-kindness fills the in between
Where respect is not earned
But gratuitously given
As like spontaneous smiles, iridescent laughter,
And predisposed assumptions of the best that one is

Is it too much to ask that gentleness and tenderness be our instincts
And magnanimity be our reasoned response

That we might be earnest in desiring and working for justice
For others as much as for ourselves
And that we would rather die to promote peace
Than to live by inflicting violence
In deed or word, in ethos or attitude

Dare I dream of such a world
And thus judge my own as lacking
Must I forbid the quest for a nobler humanity
For fear of not being grateful for the morsels I’ve secured

Here is my answer, and prayer that you concur

I will not let the vision die while I still live
For my vision is a remembrance of what was for a while, yet ceased to be fully
The vision I felt, and saw, as a newborn baby
Is the one for which I will strive to create
Not simply for babes, but for teens and adults
Who like me, I believe, have not lost their capacity to feel blessed;
Nor to offer blessings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Bret S. Myers, 2/4/2022

First Congregational United Church of Christ
Waterloo, Iowa

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