Angela Denise Davis
Luscious, fat rain dropsInclusion is a challenge
No room for them all
Deluge of waterTo belong is to be seen
Before the flood comes
Rainbows without grayFossilized footprints reveal
Beauty swept away
It is said that theology is a form of poetry. Perhaps, this is why I have always had such a love for theology. I started writing poetry when I was nine years old, and recognized a call to ministry when I was six. (That is a post for another blog.)
This past week, I attended the 2012 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability in Chicago, Illinois. The gathering was hosted by the Catholic Theological Union, and was Sponsored by the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities and the Bethesda Institute. The Institute faculty and mentors included Hans Reinders, John Swinton, Tom Reynolds, Erik Carter, Deborah Creamer and Bill Gaventa.
The closing meditation for the first day was to write a haiku the reflected on the key learning points we had experienced. I chose to write a poem that used the story of Noah and the collection of animals as a way of talking about inclusion and disability. I am sure that I will come back to this exercise, and to this series of haiku that I quickly wrote.
The story of Noah is found in the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians call the Old Testament. It lends itself to a variety of interpretations, but I chose to think of it as a way of highlighting who is and who is not at the table of power and policy.
Theologically speaking, we are all called into the shelter of grace and human compassion, but we do not all extend hospitality in support of this calling. I think this was the greatest impression made upon me all week. Words like hospitality, re-membering, “beyond inclusion,” and limits will drift through my head for the next few days. I want to sit with them and continue to be in reflection.