Confessions iii

To be clear, God,
When I say “I am yours”
What I really mean is this:

“I am as much yours as I am able to be.
And there’s something, yes, something in me
That wants to be wholly yours.”

For these three words spring up in me unbidden
As aspiration, as expression of a longing
Too deep and too complex to understand or deny.

***

Yet I am holding back.
I say the words beneath my breath,
Awkward, tentative (“I am… yours?”)

What do they even mean?
Do I tell the truth with them?
Where are they leading?

I used to think their meaning was clear
And their destination unquestionably desirable
(By nature yours, I choose to be yours)

***

But there was darkness hidden in their light
Subtle self-loathing in their love
And in the appearance of choice there was no choice at all.

For if your only dream for me was to be “yours”
Because to want to be myself was both selfish and dangerous
Then my life as an empty vessel was all destiny no decision.

But that was many years and many tears ago
And I was wrong, so wrong
About me and about you.

***

You gave me my freedom
When I didn’t know it was mine to have or desire
And when I begged to be shown your will, you asked me

“What is it that you want?”
So that step by slow and painful step
I came into my own.

And now I find that in seeking to be like you
I have turned out to be myself
And that this was your dream all along.

***

Now I find (irony of ironies)
That opening to my uncertainty about your existence
Also opens inside me a fresh wellspring of desire to surrender

Because – though it makes no rational sense –
A God who is so wholly unfazed by my doubt and by my reticence
(Since you desire my freedom and flourishing more than I)

This is a God to whom I want to say yes:
You who say yes and yes and yes over me and all my noes,
You who willingly wait till I am happy that my yes is whole.

***

So I know you will lean close to catch these whispered words
As they catch in my throat:
“I am yours.”

I know you hear and treasure the hidden truth
Resonating through them as an unfolding story:
“It is because I am becoming mine that I can freely choose to be yours.”

And I imagine I hear an echo of your whispered response:
“Beloved, if you choose to be freely and fully mine
Let it be because I delight to be freely and fully yours.”

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