I Am By John Sullivan

I Am
I am not your conscience.
Or the voice of your parents.
I am not your friends.
Telling you to follow your dreams.
I am not part of some collective human evolutionary sensibility.
To keep you safe from social sanctions, or predators.

I am not your imagination.
Or the faint echoes of some tv psychologist.
I’m not a television pastor.
Saying you deserve the good life.
You don’t.

I am the one who speaks through the black holes, quasars in the outside.
Through the lava flows of vast geological time.
And the bones of all creation.
I dwarf your understanding of how and why.

I hold back information, so you may search.
And find just enough of me in the fragments of faith.
So you can embrace it with your weak arms.

I have made you as life.
But allowed the curse of death to speak to your frailty.
And your incapacity to hold on to this faith without me.
I know that you are depraved by nature.
And run to it when you think no one’s looking.

You seek a second Eden.
With what you know are transient pleasures.
If you seek me with just your mind.
You will be left dry as a one who seeks relics
If you seek me with just your heart.
If you will feel abandoned like a jilted lover.

You must go deeper.
You must seek an understanding that I gave you.
When I made the personal and agonizing provision for your soul.
When I said to you, before you were born, “I am!”
When you looked up at the sky for me.
And saw my face in the clouds and stars.

Before shrugging was your response to questions.
Before violence was your understanding of history
Before you saw your body as a sexual carnival ride.
Before you could only believe in the grave and the end.
Before you forgot – that I still am!

This means more than just your prayers when you’re in trouble.
Although I hear them.
More than your singing hymns.
More than volunteering to feed the hungry.

It is the forgetting of yourself,
It is the abandoning of your model of life.
Even if it includes me.
It is getting out of my way.
So I can do what you are unwilling and unable to do.

But I will not force myself on you.
You need to let me in.
And this is not easy.
I never promised it would be.
It can even be painful.

But I do promise you.
It is necessary.
To embrace what I did.
To save you from yourself.

I know you won’t always be accommodating when I ask.
You are still of dust and weak.
You will fail many times.
But I won’t fail you.

Once you see who I am.
when I am in charge.
You will want more.
My Spirit will add dimension to your life.
Beyond your toys that corrupt your imagination.

Or empty spirituality.
Born of your best intentions.
Because you really can’t see me that way.
I am too big for the frames of legalism.
Moderation, or excessive liberty.

But be aware.
I will surprise you.
I will call sinners friends.
And the ugly beautiful.

I will knock you down.
When you try to impress me.
And hold you close.
when you’re paralyzed with fear.
When the heart-breaking chaos screams “He is not!”

Because It’s only then – in your helplessness.
When you can remember, back before you were courageous.
Back before the clutter masquerading as the substance of dreams
When your only wisdom came from me.
When I first spoke to you.
I AM forever!

John Sullivan lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a published journalist and creative writer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Mass Communications, from Arizona State University.

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