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I Am not A.I.

A.I., you and I are different.
I feel.

I feel
the rays of the sun warming my face,
the chill of the cold deep in my bones,
the pressure of your hand holding mine
and mine, resting in yours.

I feel
the jitters when test scores are posted,
the wrenching when news isn’t good,
the twang when I know I really shouldn’t
and the tap when I know I really should.

God didn’t create me artificially.
God created me realistically:
real parts,
real thoughts,
real sensations,
real desires,
real hopes,
real needs.

Do I dare feel?

Am I willing?
Not just to touch the hand
that reaches out,
but to take it?

Dear God,
there are places I’d rather not go.
I still feel them;
I still remember them;
I am not safe there.

You, A.I.,
You are safe everywhere.
not bothered by sensation,
not saddled with emotion,
not addled by fear or foreboding.

Fear is a place only humans go,
only humans can go,
human beings,
humans being.
The Lord of life takes us there…
and brings us through.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28)

A.I. was made for man, not man for A.I.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the A.I.

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Got that feeling in my body*

Ugly words hurt.
Clashing colors make me nauseous.
Stripes with plaid make me dizzy.

Grim news turns my stomach
Loss twists my heart.
A word stabs
A look penetrates
Criticism batters.

Thoughts and experiences are, for me, physical.
I quite literally feel your pain.

Yet,
Accept me and my heart bursts!
Kindness enfolds
Caring caresses
Eyes that listen warm me
Ears that see startle me.

My body tells me how I feel.

I am especially susceptible
vulnerable
touched
lit
loosed
Easily ground down to nothing.

Yet,
sensitive
responsive
afloat
aloft
Easily lifted to everything.

My body tells me how I feel,
but not how to feel.
I tell it.

Fast ball coming
Take a two-footed stance:
Me (step) and Thee (steady)
We.

Ready.

*Thank you, Justin Timberlake

Against All Odds

What lingers?

  • After the scrumptious meal
  • After the company leaves
  • After the last note sounds
  • After the riveting movie
  • After the compelling book
  • After the lights go down
  • After

Our hearts and senses are left to fend for themselves. To remember, but not with our minds exactly, more with our spirits. We no longer have the crutch of words or explanations or analysis. We can no longer touch or taste or see or hear. But we still feel. Something remains.

What is that?

It’s real because it returns. When circumstances bring it back to mind. It is like the last time – like before, like the other. We compare it to something we know but could never display. A thought, a memory, a sensation, a feeling. These have not gone; they are still with us. Undeniably present and called upon by the moment’s experience.

My pastor speaks of the blessings of God for which we tremble. I repeat the word over and over as I was taught to sing it, in a choir loft long ago. Rolling the last consonants, as if they were bumping together, quaking, quivering, rattling, rumbling, settling. The dictionary is far, far away. I stand two rows up, eyes fixed on a makeshift manger to which we sing. I have imagined the baby Jesus. We…tremble…

Why would Jesus come as a helpless baby? Crying, cooing, needing, cold, trembling…

I glimpse a young woman from a wasteland who is isolated, devastated, alone, being held by the man who has stood by her. He can comfort and support but not rescue her. This is a present day and not just long ago story. It still resonates. Perhaps because it speaks to a place deeper than words. Where, trembling against all odds, we discover that what is in us can save us. 

It lingers.

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