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                  Who Am I? – Wer Bin Ich?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Who am I? They often tell me,
I step out from my cell,
composed, contented and sure,
like a lord from his manor.

Who am I? They often tell me,
I speak with my jailers,
frankly, familiar and firm,
as though I was in command.

Who am I? They also tell me,
I bear the days of hardship,
unconcerned, amused and proud,
like one who usually wins.

Am I really what others tell me?
Or am I only what I know of me?
Troubled, homesick, ill, like a bird in a cage,
gasping for breath, as though one strangled me,
hungering for colors, for flowers, for songs of birds,
thirsting for kind words, for human company,
quivering with anger at despotism and petty insults,
anxiously waiting for great events,
helplessly worrying about friends far away,
empty and tired of praying, of thinking, of working,
exhausted and ready to bid farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I then, this today and the other tomorrow?
Am I both at the same time? In public, a hypocrite
and by myself, a contemptible, whining weakling?
Or am I to myself, like a beaten army,
flying in disorder from a victory already won?

Who am I? Lonely questions mock me.
Who I really am, you know me, I am thine, O God!


Voices in the Night: The Prison Poems of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 

               

"treat, heal, and comfort always"

 "spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"  

 

     
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