How do I tell you that much we’ve thought real is illusion?
That much we thought Christian, a counterfeit?
Much we thought history, myth?
How do I tell you that our white, Christian ancestors
Embraced illusion, counterfeit and myth
To cover their shame?
Will you cover your ears,
Will you shout me down,
When I say that covered shame
Remains, festers, kills,
And keeps getting passed to the next generation
And the next?
I don’t need to tell you:
Shame that’s exposed hurts like hell.
But only – only – when brought out into the light
Can shame be dealt with and sent away.
I don’t know how. And yet I tell you:
That way alone is the way out.
Otherwise, we will stay stuck
Exactly where our proud forebears left us.
And we will keep pretending
That we’re not.
Facing what we think we cannot survive,
Saying what is agony to admit,
Laying down pride and privilege,
No longer confusing fear of God with fear of loss –
That way lies truth and love
We Confess! The Civil War, the South and the Church e-book, $.99, Oct. 12-18.