I Struggle

By Deacon Gregory Webster

I struggleBut don’t have much to complain about.

I fearJohn Paul II told me “Be Not Afraid.”

I worryAnxiety is a monster I try to cage.

I rushEven when I am not in a hurry.

I hungerBut not sure for what.

I hopeKnowing in God is my joy.

I petitionFor my needs.

I praySeeking understanding.

I bleedBut won’t admit I was cut.

I acheMy football coach said to get back up.

I ponderLooking at the stars.

I wonderWhat lies beyond them.

I searchTo see what I missed.

I angerAt my injustice.

I fail. At seeing your justice.

I resentWhen I am not seen.

I miss. Seeing you.

I journeyA circular path.

I toppleWhen I should pick up.

I believeHelp my unbelief. 

I runWhen I should stay.

I do not loveAs Jesus calls me to do.

I do not feed the poorI miss seeing Jesus in them.

I do not bury the deadI bury those alive in my speech.

I do not visit the prisonsEven when the imprisoned are not in jail.

I am not a peacemaker.When seeking my place in the world.

I am not the dad my father wasBut I understand him more as I get older.

I am not the brother I should beBiological, fraternal or comrade.

I am not the relative that callsYet I always have a phone with me.

I am not the friend to cry withBut I will be there when you call.

I am an introvertWho has learned to be loud.

I am not the deacon worthy of the stoleNone of us are.

I put up wallsWhen I should be taking them down.

I pray the wordsBut God wants my emotions.

I recite the psalms.Without hearing the song.

I look at the sunsetSeeing the glory of creation.

I look at the horizonAnd note the world is curved.

I miss my parentsKnowing they are both dead and still live.

I save for my 401KNot being promised tomorrow. 

I dream about tomorrowWithout living in joy today.

I hear the bells before MassAnd know they toll for me. 

I carry decisions of 45 yrs. agoAs if I made them today.

I speak with confidenceHaving little of it myself.

I am in aweWhen I look at the cross.

I am the Imago DeiSo are you. 

In all, none of this matters.

Today, I have a breathGod is letting me start anew.


REVEREND DR. GREGORY WEBSTER is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Francis Cardinal George in May 2014. Besides degrees in Chemistry, he has an M.A. in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary and a D.Bioethics degree in Catholic/Research Ethics from Loyola University of Chicago.

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