I Am Other

This poem was written by my friend Katie van Santen.

I Am Other

This is who I am.
This is me.
This is my being.

And who are you
to judge
that I am broken?
That I need fixing,
Who are you
to say that this
is not the way
God made me to be?
That this
is not God’s will for me?
To tell me that we are all fallen,
all broken,
and therefore who I am is sin,
not my fault,
but not God’s perfect plan?

You were not there
when I became.
You cannot know God’s will.
You do not know my life,
my heart,
my path.
You only see that
I am other.

Maybe I am other by design.
Maybe my otherness
is indeed of God.
That to be other is not
to be broken.
Maybe this
is how I was meant to be.

I do not “struggle”
with my identity.
My self has worth
and value of its own.
I am a human becoming,
rediscovered in original love.
I belong to and am held
by my creator.

You do not see
my heart.
You cannot know
the days of battle
and the tears of surrender,
in finally accepting
that other is not my enemy
but me.
The unlearning
of the shame
and pain.
The peace
of recognising
my God-shaped self.

So when
you say,
“I see you are other,
but if you did this,
you might become
I feel your heart
of pain for me.
But what I hear is,
“I am afraid,
and I need you
to be like me”
So I nod
and smile
and say words
to make you
less uncomfortable
while my heart breaks.

My otherness is not
my brokenness.
I am who God made.
This is who I am.

Katie van Santen lives in Plymouth, UK with some lego and quite a few books. She has recently completed a Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, Ministry and Mission. Currently she is not a marine biologist or science teacher due to disability, but keeps herself busy as a volunteer aquarium host, visiting preacher, and Fairy Godmother.

Image via Pixabay

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