The following poem is a personal reflection I shared on Sunday morning regarding how each generation tends to approach the next based solely on their experience and expectations. I've been asked to share it in written form. I pray that those from previous generations will understand that I honour both their love and their efforts while being honest about the impact of some of their actions. I also assure you that, despite any efforts to avoid this cycle, I am an active contributor to this generational process as well. In all of this I am so thankful for the grace of God that extends past - and even through - our failures and foibles to still accomplish his good work.
But [Jesus/God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
My shoulder hurts. And my hip and my ankle, too.
I’m aware of it in age, but the injury is from long ago.
You see, I’m square.
At least, my sons think I am.
I’m square like my parents once were round.
They, the products of their time and space,
Sought to make me of their time and space.
And not them alone -
Their peers. Their friends. Their generation.
They, in love, sought to protect, but perhaps at the expense of patience and hope.
And so they gripped me - gripped me tight.
And not me alone -
My peers. My friends. My generation.
Gripped tight and twisted.
Squares forced to try to fit into their round hole.
And it hurt.
It hurts where I was grabbed.
It hurts where I was twisted.
It hurts where square corners met with knife and sandpaper to try to push me in.
And yes, it came from love. And yes, it caused pain.
And now I, a product of my time and space,
Am the older generation.
Somewhere, without me realizing when, the tools were put into my hand.
I have others - children of my own and children of others - in front of me.
They don’t fit in my square. What am I to do?!?
I must choose.
I can be for me and my square, my shape, my design -
Grip tight and twist.
Forced to try to fit through my square hole
Leaving marks and scars where none were before
Or I can be for them.
Like the red and blue ball with yellow shapes.
Gently holding them. Observing them.
Seeing the shape God has given them.
Honouring that shape and helping them find their just right fit.
I used to think Jesus has just one shape.
I often find myself thinking that still.
And the shape I see for Jesus is remarkably just like me.
But I am not the exact representation of God’s being.
And Jesus doesn’t look just like me.
Yes. I long to look like Jesus,
But I will only ever look like a small part of Jesus.
We are his body.
Maybe I’m only a small toe
Or the flappy skin on his elbow.
The beauty and power of Jesus is that he is not square or circle.
He is not triangle or star.
Each of these, created in the image of God, can become like Jesus.
Because a shape is an outward appearance and that . . .
Well, that is not where God looks.