The Rough Guide to Being God’s Child

I was born on a Tuesday at 3:10 in the AM

At 3:40 when my father held me in his arms, I heard Your name for the first time

My father is Javanese, my mother Sundanese, but at four it was Your language that I was taught to read

As often as I was running, climbing trees, I’d learned as much how to quietly kneel

All I ever knew about You was beautiful, they were what my father, my mother knew; they said,


“To our kind You are loving, to our kind You are giving, to our kind You are forgiving.”


They said to me that’s all I needed to know, that’s all I needed to worry about.


But at 9 I started thinking about those who were not my kind; like, the lady who played Maria Von Trapp, the man who wrote Cinderella, the kid who voiced Mickey Mouse…

And being 9 I thought there was a chance I could fly and meet You at the skyline

Walk with You on a carpet of stars and have a chat about just that

But I soon faced that I couldn’t so instead to my mother I asked,


“How could one be loving, if one was only loving to one kind?”


But she couldn’t give me much more than, “That’s just the way things are.”


I cried.


Like a holed soul longing to discover, I set out to travel

But being 10 there was no point of departure

The world waited till I was 19 for me to have enough heart muscle to last the distance

Enough neural connection to process directions

Enough tongue articulation to, you know, blend in with people


I left with no map, just a handful of smile curves for the times the weather will try

An extra supply of tears in my eyes for the times the sight makes it worth my while


Because true enough, as soon as I met You, I was made Your soldier, Your willing-to-die messenger

Defying my father’s laws, my mother’s trust, for the sake of Your cause

My soul was alive for the weapon that was the Holy Book I held close to my fast-beating heart


But as soon as I fell wounded I was left with nothing but broken dreams, no consolation prize

And that’s when I joined the camp of Your loyal opposition, had no reason to believe in Your existence

The idea of You became an innovation, everything You did was merely science


There was convenience in having no obligations, freedom in not being subject to judgment

Though I missed Your presence, I liked that the life I had was down to me alone


But at 23 I hit a deep rock bottom

By 23 and a half, I had run out of air in my self-rescue mission

And there You were, again my Saviour, again my Protector,

And I was, suddenly, Your nomadic Sunday worshipper


At the sound of Your name, I learned, again, how to read,

I learned, again, how to kneel

For a while, how good it felt to be in Your shade again

How familiar it was, to feel home again

How familiar it was… To be told again,


“To our kind You are loving, to our kind You are giving, to our kind You are forgiving.”


“But, why?”


“That’s just the way things are.”


I cried.


And for the second time I stepped out.

I didn’t leave this time, I stood, and to you I cried out,


“You know! Each time I stopped for You, I had to become someone!

And each time I became, I could only add! But not subtract!

Because of You! I could not come back to my father’s arms, my mother’s kind!

And now, I have become the other kind! So many times!

And at 24, I am all of them! Right now!


… Yet, You are still loving, You are still giving all the while.”


And that’s when I realize, I am but Your child

The days I stepped out of Your house, I was only in Your backyard

Where I learned why You are named the All-Loving One

Because You carry on loving me, as I become All-Kind.




forgot to write down.10.11.


As performed at PODs The Backpackers Home’s Mix Nuts on October 7, 2011.