Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell Me Where To Be Born

September 22, 2009

People of the world,
Tell me where to be born.

If I were born in the land
Of "your interest,"
Would you let me die?

People of the world,
My name is Holocaust and
I'm fifty-some years old.

My name is Sarajevo and
I'm three years old

My name is Bijac and
I'm but a month old.

And I have no name,
I'm yet to be born.

People of the world,
Tell me where to be born
So you will not hurt me one day
So you will not maim me one day
So you will not kill me one day.

People of the world,
Tell me where to be born.
Avideh Shashaani

I have been reflecting a lot about diversity recently. Our didactic on diversity provides a challenging space for reflecting. We share with colleagues about how our learnings on diversity impact our pastoral functioning. (Increased compassion, increased vulnerability, deepened appreciation.) We have even shared, in group work, what makes each of us unique and different from the others. It has been so rich, so vulnerable, so blessed.

And, I have been haunted by this poem by Avideh Shashaani. I first read it in a magazine last May, just prior to my two-week venture to the southwest and on the Mexico-US border. When I was in Juarez, I looked into the eyes of the children living on the landfill, playing with found items and eating watermelon in the shade for their afternoon snack.

Now, I look into the eyes of the babies in the NICU and cry. I pray for their safety, for their courage, and for the light of Love to transform them into a new world that is not marred by pre-formed-racism, sexism, classism, or any other -ism. I pray for the children and I pray that where they are born is transforming and hopeful.

All these children are vulnerable and in our community's care and like them, I feel I am being born, again.

Where are you born, today?

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