Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)
- TITLE: I Am She
By Beth Muehlhausen
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Today I am forever changed,
Because of you, child.
My self-absorption is evaporating.
A divine essence resides deep within
Your tiny, flailing body
Still purple and wet in my arms,
Calling me outside myself.
For a moment, creases carve your brow
As terror flashes across your face
And you shudder, involuntarily:
A startle response.
You seem to ask,
“Who am I?”
“Whose am I?”
Consumed by an instinctive gnawing, grinding hunger you cry:
“Feed me - someone must FEED ME!”
Wailing and desperate, you insist:
“Protect me, nurture me!”
You know nothing of your soul,
And yet it also screams to be fed:
“Teach, inspire, love, and enable me!”
Finally, one more question erupts.
“WHERE AM I?”
Who will answer?
It is I, child.
It is I.
My heart stretches forth within me,
Eager to embrace all of you -
The mystery of your body and soul, knit together,
Created in God’s image.
I stare beyond your perfectly formed fingers and toes
And envision - can it be? - an inner, eternal spirit.
Like some shadowy but fertile valley
Waiting to be filled with glad sunshine and rain –
Waiting to be tested by hardship and pain –
You, in your innocent and vast smallness,
In your magnificent perfection
Created for eternity,
Depend on me.
My degree of apathy or love
For you, and for the Lord of Life,
Will foretell much of your future.
I face the responsibility,
Someday I could stand trial for the life or death of your heart.
Should you sense flippancy,
You will diminish.
Should you sense love,
You will thrive.
Your emerging identity will mirror
My degree of devotion to you,
And to Him,
In the form of self-acceptance or self-loathing;
Trust or mistrust.
My witness to faith in God,
And hope for you,
Either superficial or abiding,
Will bear testimony in your own precious heart.
I hold you, now,
And guide your eager mouth to my breast.
Shhhh, child. Here. I am here.
Silent tears carve cheek-trenches
As I, too, cry out quietly with pleas
And projecting to,
Heavenly places –
Whispers that beg God to raise me higher,
To replace selfishness and fear
With His mercy and love.
My tears fall on your tiny face,
Flushed and pink now,
Cleansing you with desire and hope.
Surely you and I are
One with him.
I am weak, but I am His.
The Potter will use me to shape you.
I am here, and I will never forsake you.
I am your mother.
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