At this morn’s light,
the first of the sun’s bright illuming streams,
dispelling the darkness,
I, awakening, rising,
saw, at my side, my shadow;
whene’er, where’er I moved, striding, inescapably, with me.
Closer, I looked; there beholding my face.
Afraid, imagining what, wagering who I’d see –
a countenance scarred with the pain,
marred with the anger of every sorrowful moment of my past,
whether done to or, e’en worse, by me –
I turned away.
Yet, intrigued, needing
(if barely desiring) to see,
again, I looked.
And it was (it is!) the same face when perchance
I glance in reflecting glass.
For there, in every furrow, in each wrinkle,
was (is!) the record of my life’s story.
And then, closing my eyes, I remembered
every line and verse and chapter of Paul’story
and, once again, I know me.
Note: Many years ago, Pontheolla and I spent a month in South Africa, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. There, when meeting anyone, we heard and learned to return the greeting, “Sawubona,” which literally means, “I see you.” In this, seeing is no mere matter of beholding another via physical sight, but rather it is to embrace and accept another person in and with all of her or his virtues and vices, strengths and weaknesses and to offer one’s self in service for and with another. This deeper, aye, deepest seeing of another also is to be granted by, for, and to one’s self.