Who Am I?

March 3, 2011 at 8:02 1 comment

Who am  I? They often tell me

I stepped from cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I?  They often tell me

I used to speak to my warder

Freely and friendly and clearly.

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I?  They also tell me

I bore days of misfortune

Equally, smilingly, proudly,

Like one accustomed to win.


Am I then really all that which other men tell of me?

Or am I only what I myself know myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in cage,

Struggling for breath, as though though hands were

Compressed my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?


Who am I?  This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Or is still something within me a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!


by Dietrich Bonhoeffer at Tegel Military Prison in Berlin (1943).

Dr. Carl Goerdeler, the Mayor of Leipzig, face the notorious ranald Freisler, who sentence him to death for  his role in the July 20th assassination plot.  Freisler also sentenced Dietrich’s brother Klaus and his brother-in-law Rudiger Scheicher to death.


Entry filed under: Grace, Jesus Christ, The Christian Life.

Aquila and Priscilla were a team. Comfort

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Carol Noren Johnson  |  March 3, 2011 at 8:02

    Wonderful musings. This life was not all for Bonhoeffer and it is not all for us. Thank God.


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