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What did you lose when you walked out?
Out of that family, out of that church, out of that closet?
Out of that hospital?
Out of that cemetery?

What did survival cost?
And what was the cost of transformation?

What was the price of becoming who you are?

Where are the scars?
Are there scars where your breasts once were?
Scars where suffering once was?
Scars where once were those who loved only their image of you?
Scars where once was the person you thought would change?
Are there scars you bare at meeting every week?
Scars you bear in silence every day?

It’s not that there’s no grace,
not that God is absent or dead;
it’s that the work required so much more
than teachers or preachers ever said.
It’s that the light of day required so much more courage than the darkness.

It’s not that there’s no joy,
but that the world does not always reward honesty, courage, or wholeness.
It does not want to see suffering, or grief,
or weep with those who weep.
It does not want to hear about the journey
through the underworld.

We journeyed through the underworld,
our wholeness nothing more than faith, and hope,
and determination.
With every step we heard the voices of those who wounded us,
of those who condemned us,
of those who feared their own journeys
in the darkness.

We learned that choosing light was not a moment’s work,
but something to be renewed,
every day and every moment renewed.
Every day and every moment we pledge ourselves to hope,
to faith,
to the conviction of things not seen.

Every day we walk with the risen one,
alive, rejoicing, breaking bread,
our wounds bearing witness.