This poem by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) was handed out to us at Timothy Palmer’s “Sexuality and Spirituality” workshop at the Soulforce Anti-Heterosexism Conference. To me, it expresses what original sin really means: not some flaw in ourselves that actually estranges God from us, but a mental block that deludes us into believing in that estrangement. God’s love is unlimited, but clouded by our limited perceptions.
God Desired Me, So I Came Close
God desired me, so I came close.
No one can near God unless
He has prepared a bed for you.
A thousand souls hear His call every second,
but most everyone then looks into their
life’s mirror and says,
“I am not worthy to leave this sadness.”
When I first heard His courting song, I too
looked at all I had done in my life and said,
“How can I gaze into His omnipresent eyes?”
I spoke those words with all my heart,
but then He sang again, a song even sweeter,
and when I tried to shame myself once more
from His presence
God showed me His compassion and spoke
a divine truth,
“I made you, Beloved, and all I make is perfect.
Please come close, for I desire you.”