Poetry is how I pray: A Poem

Southeast Texas has the best fog ever.

One of my goals for 2016 is to write a new spoken word poem every month. Here’s March’s poem.

I’ve never read a poem in church before,
But poetry is part of how I pray,
how I attempt to squeeze the unutterable into syllables,
how I capture infinity in my heartbeat.
I’d like to share my heart with you all today,
Because I am grateful.
For the last three years, if you asked me what I thought about church,
I would have told you, “It’s complicated,”
like a relationship status on Facebook.
Yes, I’m one of those millennials who wasn’t sure what do with church.
I am young, and I am learning.
When I was a child, I thought like a child,
And I used to think that when I wore my frilly dress on Sundays
with my black buckled mary jane shoes and white gloves and the petticoat that itched
when I put my two pennies in the offering plate
I thought that God liked me more
than when I ran around in the backyard
in my shorts and t-shirt
digging in crawdad holes
because I thought God was boring,
like all the other adults.
I thought God could only like you
If you checked all the right boxes and didn’t wiggle in the pew
So when I screamed hate,
darker than blackout in a Southeast Texas thunderstorm,
I thought God would never like me again.
I thought that forgiveness was for all those other people
Who weren’t weird like me.
I know it’s a cliché when people say they found the light,
But I don’t know how else to explain what happened to me.
Except maybe that the light found me,
crawled into the deepest cracks,
and stopped my soul from detonating.
I am still young, and I am learning
how Jesus said you will know the truth,
And the truth will set you free.
I am learning how to be loved,
How to walk in the light,
Drinking it in like lemonade sunshine
And then asking someone else, “here, would you like some?”
So many are thirsty.
In the last three years, I learned that church is not the building,
church is human, church is alive,
because we are his body,
so when we leave here and the billboard outside tells us be the church,
that’s a thing that we live,
not just a noun, but a verb.
You all are my people,
because you are his people,
together, we are living this story.
And this. This is why I am grateful.

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