If My Old God Was An Abuser (When you leave him)

(I'm giving this one a Trigger Warning for:  Rape, Abuse, Church Abuse, Oppression... Tread lightly if you need to.)   

if my old god was an abuser
fashioned out of bits of my mother and you
if I made him in my own image
set him up so I'd never be free
wrapping my arms in the hallelujah
strapping my feet in the glory be
if I created him to bind my wandering heart
then begged him to pay my debt
held myself in the violent plight of some promised privilege
used his words to break myself in

if my old god tread on women's shoulders
holding them down while he rose above
used my shame to keep me in my place
telling me only he could make me whole
if my old god broke me so he could use me
asked me to praise him all the while
raising my hands in blessed assurance
raising my hands to beg for life   

if my old god was a rapist
telling me that my body was owned
saying the price was paid
that I should count the cost
invalidating my very soul
if my old god wouldn't listen
if he told me my voice didn't count
if my old god took me while I slept
naming duty when I spoke a no

if my old god was a narcissist
acting from his ego and naming it church
handing mic to power only
placing a hand across my mouth  
when descent raised up and slipped over his head
my old god silenced it with his quick hand
love is stronger than power
but in the room of church
fear often controls love's tongue

if my old god would rather protect himself
keep his job secure and sound
if my old god keeps the other out
using scripture to uphold
if his words are used to cast out sin
but defines sin from his power
if my old god taught me who to fear
set himself up as protector
only so he could control

What if heaven?
kingdom come.jpeg

What if heaven is a light source?

And we keep saying who's in 

Or out 

But you can't keep out the light 

Even if you try

 

You can work

Placing blind over windows

You can pull and tuck and cover 

But once light is entering a room 

it only takes the tiniest pin prick 

To begin it's overtake

It's reckless flood

 

What if heaven is really here and now?

What if it's in us? 

Among us? 

Between us? 

And they keep trying to say 

Heaven arrives boxed on graphs

penciling in rules that were meant to be broken 

 

What if heaven's definition of marriage 

Was authored in the shared heartbeat?

The hum of current beginning it's exchange? 

What if you can't keep that kind of love under control

What if God has called us good? 

 

They tried to tell us there was not enough

That we had to fight our way inside

They drew the lines 

Racist, homophobic, sexist lines 

Told us to fight our way to the top 

 

They told us to plead for His binary marked, gendered, mercy

Ask for grace from our broken ways  

 

But if the Kingdom of Heaven is like a light source

And you can't keep out the electric flow 

It's time to rub your eyes

Open them wide 

Grab your neighbor by the hand 

 

It is so much bigger 

So much brighter 

More beauty than they understand 

The minute they drew those lines 

The Kingdom of Heaven went outside

& is beaming at them

Inside you 

My Mother's Day Proclamation

Based on The original Mother’s Day Proclamation or Appeal to Womanhood, written by Julia Ward Howe, it was an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world.

 

Arise then... women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts!

Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

 

Say firmly:

Our homes and churches will be shelters

We will not live in fear

We will not engage the painful path

Only to hold onto the white picket illusion

Acting as if perfection is an attainable goal

Shame be banished!

In words and deeds

 

We will not look away when our sisters cry

We will look them in their tear filled eyes

Even when this highlights our own hidden fears

We will not live as if our children are meant to be anything other than

A tinted reflection of Kingdom in a fractured world

 

We will hold loosely in love and nurture fully

Nurturing whatever, whoever is placed beside us

Clinging to the whole knowledge of planned justice

We will release those we care for into Her better than arms

While offering our own less than arms as sacrifice

 

Living peace filled lives

Speaking with clear voices

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

For you to listen

sitting in the ashes of my faith

Sitting in the ashes of my faith 

I am angry

I am grief struck 

 

I want to yell to a God who shames us

But that's us

I want to yell to a God who guilts us 

But that's us

I want to yell to a God who tells us to be polite

But that is us

I want to yell to a God who dominates 

But that's us

I want to yell to a God who imprisons us 

But that is us

 

I want to yell to a God that passes out anti abortion cards to young women coming out of clinics 

But that's us

I want to yell to a God who carries hateful signs saying He Hates Fags 

But that is us

I want to yell to a God that tells young girls to not wear yoga pants

But that is us

 

I want to yell to a God that kills black men 

But that is us

I want to yell to a God that kills black women

But that is us

I want to yell to a God that kills trans women

But that is us

I want to yell to a God who creates systems to keep power in place

But that's us

 

I want to yell to a God that 

lets us 

 

I am sitting in the ashes of my faith 

And it is painful

I want to leave this place

I want to exit the desert 

I want to beg with parched lips for something new

 

I want to scream out 

REVOLUTION 

but when I scream 

no one even hears my voice

I want to beg for change 

But my voice has been silenced 

 

I am sitting in the ashes of my faith 

Please don't leave me here

 

This piece was read at a community Ash Wednesday service attended by multiple communities including Zeteo, Just Love, Harbor & Canvas in Houston.

It is also cross posted at justlovehouston.wordpress.com a blog dedicated to raising voices for #blacklivesmatter during Lent.