Called to Re-formation

November 30, 2014

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Advent 1– RCL Year B
Isaiah 61:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

“Let me borrow your skin?” I want to ask the friend who writes through hot tears on the morning bus.
Because they say to walk a mile in a man’s shoes if you really want to know his life.
But I know today that shoes that slip on and off with will are not enough for me to know what I need to know.
I need you to loan me your skin, because maybe inside it I will find my way to the knowing I need.
Maybe in your skin I will grow to understand the pain that boils to hot anger in your blood.
And maybe in your skin I can stand outside my own privilege long enough to know-in the truth of your life and your story.
If I could borrow your dark eyes then maybe I could see your son’s future through the storm of fear that brews inside you.
Loan me your skin so I can find the words to explain the scars that mark your life?
If I could speak in the rasping hoarseness of your voice so long unheard maybe I would feel the urge to shout with you.
If I could sing the slave’s songs with my grandmother’s memories pulsing in their harmonies then maybe I would feel the fullness of their soulful wails.
Let me borrow your skin so I can trace the scars of sideways glances and cold, hard stares of intimidation?
If I could finger your hair atop my head, during the silent shifting on the bus in the seat where I have the right to sit but not the welcome–
Let me borrow your skin so I can find the courage to bear the offense taken when I speak about the life you live in it.
sb10064317c-002I never ask it and she doesn’t have to answer for me to know what has always been true.
There is no way out for her of the skin she lives in and no way far enough in for me to truly know.
What we have to share is this – that I slide in close and lace my pale fingers through hers,
Embrace, leaning in to one another, and hear our hearts beat the same
of redemption’s song.

Tuesday morning began for me with heaviness of heart, having heard about the Ferguson grand jury verdict the night before. I knew that my Facebook page would be filled with anger, sadness, confusion and frustration, and it was. Then, later in the day, this poem, written by Colleen Mitchell, came across my News Feed – she had written it that morning. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: