i am

i am

Your jubilant song to Moses: I AM WHO I AM.  

“When they ask you my name, this is what
    you will tell them,
        this is what you will tell them,
            tell my people I AM,
                I AM, I AM, I AM,”

like the deep cadence of a chime
answering itself
in the canyons of deep desert.  

You grieve in the face of slavery
and move to intervene
    but are not changed by it.  

You dance-rejoice over obedience
and bathe us in your pleasure
    but are not changed by it.

You exult in our wholeness
and raise your arm to topple our careless idolatry
and gather Your robes to run to the Prodigal Son.  

You are always moving but never changing.  

You are the God who distributes justice
    and
you are the God who lavishes mercy.
Both begin in you
    and find no contradiction there.
The lion lies down with the lamb.

You are the I AM,
the Great Center of Be-ing.

***

I present myself to You
the way you presented yourself
    to the nation of slaves poised
        on the threshold of freedom:
i am.

i am,
the song of myself.

No pretensions.
No pretending.
No hurried primping just outside the door.

These things keep me locked out.
No admission for those who believe themselves strong enough.
The man who loves his life will lose it,
    but
the weak and
the slaves and
the lonely and
the brokenhearted and
the wounded and
the exhausted and
the hurt and
the once-proud who have surely tried every other option:
    we all find that the gate is not so narrow after all.

I throw myself into Your Self
and am changed by your changelessness,
changed
in the slow, deliberate way
    that a vast river
        is ever creating
            even the smallest details of her boundary.

In your I AM
I find my i am.

I relinquish my way
    and find the Way.
I lose my life
    and find it.
I turn to face my own weakness,
    and I find the strength I was looking for
        all along.

*Exodus 3, John 12:25
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