Responsibility does not kill
the real self,
the deep, inner self
that rests face to face with God,
that does all that it can do
to reach out and serve its sisters and brothers;
it kills the little, selfish self, perhaps--
the mean and petty self,
that whines and kicks and screams
if it doesn’t get its own little way,
like a child crying out for yet more sugar.
Responsibility tears us away
from the quick sugar fix of life,
so that we may truly experience
life’s real sweetness all the more deeply;
it tears us away
from a road that becomes too easy--
deathly, comfortably numb--
so that we may have this wild God as our helpmate
and be sustained and upheld in our work
by arms that never fail us,
a friend who never leaves.
If we focus on the little us all the time,
the one who sleeps till noon on the surface of things,
we lose sight of the deeper God inside us,
a living Spirit who dwells closer to the surface
than our own veins and vessels,
closer than our breath, and the blood
coursing through our beings--
(so very close if we unclog the arteries of our souls
by daring to reach out to serve one another).
Locked inside our heads
we can do little except ruminate,
complain and moan about the state of the world,
and the world doesn’t care.
But with bodies engaged in service.
our thoughts take flight,
they reach out and touch,
they love, embrace,
feel fire and wind, warmth and cold,
and do their parts at last to change the world.
2/22/99 - 3/23/99 - 4/29/01