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Skin


Listen to me
I want to tell you something
I want you to sit back, close your eyes and think about this:

I want you to look at this thing we do
this living
and the vast complicated world we live in
and the joy and suffering we experience
the victories, the losses, the fear, the love
there's so much to learn
and we're just too short on time
and we're too short on knowledge
think of your skin

in our skin it's too easy to feel how small and insignificant we are
I want to tell you what I've learned about skin



who we are within and without of this skin
I want to tell you about the blessing and the beauty of skin
the curse and the crime of it
let me tell you what I know about the secret of skin:

skin is a roadmap of our lives
every freckle is a footprint
and every scar is a snapshot of a point along our journey
our skin is unique to us
its colour and scent
its solace and safety
think about the dips, the valleys and the pleasures of it
in giving, in receiving and knowing

but we think our skin separates us from each other and from god
in our darker moments we fear that this shell that holds our spirits is also our prison
if we can't understand the secret of skin we're just like a dog who's only known a short rope
and we sniff the air around our small worlds and snarl at those who walk too close
in the confines of this, our skin, we forget who we are and think we're something we're not:

alone
separate
isolated

but we're not alone
we're part of each other
we're part of the world, the universe and beyond
within us, without us and through us, we belong
so if there's one thing we need to know and only one thing
please believe this:

we are here for a purpose
know that you are here for a reason
know that you have a right to be here
you have a right to belong
you have a right to speak, to breathe, to sing, to pray, to cry, to love, to shout out your hope and despair
to reach out to others, to give, to receive, to know:

there is a beauty in you
a beauty that is unique only to you
and that you have gifts to offer this world that no one else has
that you have a light within yourself that shines as bright as any star
and know that if you remove yourself from this, the whole
we all become that much smaller

so celebrate the skin
celebrate yourself
celebrate the world
know that your skin is here to allow you to feel the hands you reach out to hold

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