I wrote the following for a divinity school essay last January.
I was prompted to write a reflective essay that addressed, among other things, significant life experiences that have affected my view of self, God and the world.
After much deliberation, I decided I could NOT submit this and I started over.
Dear Divinity School-
How do you expect me to articulate my understanding of self, God, and world when I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight? It will probably be a sandwich, but who knows what kind.
Your prompt tempts me to go all David Copperfield, put on a low-rent bourgeois magic show, and convince you that I am larger than life. But as I stare at this Word document, I do not feel like putting on a magician’s hat, waving my wand, and creating illusions of my own significance for you.
I have no pretensions of greatness.
I am a circus act.
A walking comedy.
I am infinitely ridiculous.
No, I have not been drinking tonight, but I am half-drunk on my Father’s affections. I did not purchase this coat of many colors but I have been wearing the hell out of it. So rather than give you reasons why I am lovable, I’ll just let you know that I am perfectly content in my smallness. Just a small collection of particles, carefully ordered, wandering around in desperate need of air, water, sleep, warmth, tenderness, and, above all, grace.
I’d really like to share that grace with others, and I think your institution can help me do that more effectively.
I just burned my grilled cheese.