Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Who Am I? by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me

I stepped from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I used to speak to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me

I bore the days of misfortune

Equally, smilingly, proudly,

Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Struggling for breath, as though hands were

compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,

Tossing in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!

March 4,1946

1 comment:

thepriesthood said...

Hi Adam. I swing by the blog from time to time--great stuff, much resonation. I'm currently doing a research ppr entitled "Stone's Hinge: The Return to Primal Restorationist Impulses in Post-Restorationist Church Plants." Kinda fun. I'm wondering if you would be up for a brief email interview. After all, I believe it was you that crafted this term "post-Restorationist" that I'm freely using. If you're available, holler back at

thepriesthood@gmail.com

Thanks, bro.
Tyler Priest