Beginning with Goodness

You know,
I used to see my sin first —
the flaw of humanity running in my veins.
Goodness lived in the next town over,
(me) always traveling, never arriving.
I used to view myself as
a twisted ray of light
with a deep urge to straighten out.
If I studied hard enough
and gave my time away,
would it prove my value?
and yes,
I knew Jesus at the time
and the story of how
he cleans my slate and makes me
shiny as a whistle
but somehow, what this did,
was allow me to
claim grace for myself, and
amid the doing,
I began to
focus on others and how
they are a fallen people,
lost in the forest of desire,
wanderers with no direction,
and this made me puff my chest (out a little)
as if I’m above them somehow
because I hold the truth
with a capital T,
like I have the answer.
You see,
I convinced myself
these roamers needed to
see how far away
from the love of God they are,
to see the sin that pervades
their being and the grace
that is available.

but to be honest, after a while,
this got frustrating, and
something about all of it felt off —
it didn’t sit well in the seat of my soul —
I mean,
why was I looking (first) at
what was missing in myself and others?
Why was negativity the focus? and,
How is starting with sin good news?

These questions hung around
like a dog who hopes for a walk,
and my friend, Kristen said,
“You know, Ally
it’s all where you begin in the Bible —
do you begin with the
goodness or the sin?”

This question was a Divine key given to me

because it had me going
back to Genesis
rereading those two creation stories
yes, two

Genesis 1
Genesis 2

the second story talks about
the fall, the separation,
humans who lose their way


the first story talks about
the goodness, how all creation is good.
All of it.
all plants
all animals
all air
all dirt
all birds
all light in the sky
all water
and especially
all people
created in the image of God
and since I am not a male person
I cannot claim God as (only) a boy.
God said people are good.
and I am a people
so I am good.
THIS is where I begin.

Let me be clear—
I’m not “good”
because I have children who use manners or
because I’ve achieved some stuff or
because I give generous gifts.
I’m good
because I was made by particles
of an artisan God.

God created you and I
from holy love breath.
Christ came to model for us
how Divine love pours out in our world.
Spirit moves fluid
in all the living.
THIS is where I begin

A person may not love God,
may be a galaxy away from God
but God still loves that individual
over and over and over
winking at them when they don’t even notice

truthfully, I’m not sure why many sects of Christianity
start with our sin rather than our goodness.

what a bore.

I mean,
I still fall short,
of course I do. but,
when I confess
and ask forgiveness,
it reminds me that
I am human
and being human
takes me back
– not to my fallen ways —
to my innate goodness

I believe
when you and I,
when we begin with goodness
when our eyes fall
on the spark of Divine
in all existence —
the world lights up
in a whole new way

and, this,
this —
is good.

A wonderful resource shared with me by my friend, Penny, is this list written by Episcopal priest and Spiritual Theologian, Matthew Fox, that offers the contrast between Fall/Redemption Religion and Creation Spirituality. Check it out here.

An article titled Love, Not Atonement by Richard Rohr is found here.

Check out another poem I wrote about this theme over here:
You Are Good (and the Divine Thread)

Moore County Fine Arts Festival begins August 2nd at 6pm
I’ll be there with my family and these girls

The Rising
Mother Lover