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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I like the thought
Of a church
Wanting to
Welcome authentic
Invite in real

But authentic
Is not comfortable
And real
Is a lot of things
But real
Is not neat

Real is
Praying without sound
And cringing when others pray for you
Because the assumptions embedded
Behind what is prayed
No longer make sense

Real is
A jagged response
Aimed at anyone
Who minimizes pain
With tidy answers

Real is
No longer believing
What others believe and
Wanting that
To be respected
Not tolerated
Not accepted temporarily
With the goal of fixing
For what it is and
For the thought that went into it

Real is
Not praying for health or safety
Mine or yours
And accepting that
I will only pray
What I believe

Real is
No longer settling for
It’s “part of God’s plan” or
You will understand better “in time”
And when you say those things

It is asking you to go back in time
And tell me
What was the plan for Columbine?
And all school murders since then
What was the plan for the Tsunami?
And all disasters since then

And when you say
These things we just can’t know
It’s admitting that
Not knowing is deeply unsettling
Almost as unsettling
As me not believing
That disaster is part
Of a plan

Real is
A lot of things
But we will start with these
Because real is threatening to
What many have built their lives on

So when the church
Opens the door to authentic
Invites in real
This is what
They are inviting

That is why
I don’t think the church wants real
I think the church wants neat

And I’m not sure
It’s possible
To have both