Tuesday, March 6, 2018


What is it that I miss?
Not God, whatever that word means to you,
because that word is always with me,
even more now, since I walked away,
so could it be the vestments, colors,
fabric of my dreams, the stoles, the banners,
or the stained glass windows?
Not the crosses -- wood, or gold,
empty or inhabited,
though Ethiopian silver with
those streamers is a look that I adore --
and clearly not the clergy
(though some I have befriended)
many more have I offended in my heart,
so wholly human and pretentious --
I stopped putting them on pedestals long ago.
The places -- dark and hallowed
by the years of worship, voices echoing
through the beams and cushions --
and the scents, for sure,
candles and incense, censers swaying as they pass,
but not the sermons, often flawed
and singling out the points that Jesus
never intended us to make,
and long, and filled with platitudes.
And sadly, not the people,
not the coffee hours and meetings,
the sniping and the jockeying for position,
and the rules, and the holier-than-thous...

No, it's communion that I miss.
Not the squares of wonder bread, or wafers,
not the tiny glasses, grape juice rattling in their heavy trays,
but I have memories of stoneware chalices of port
passed round a circle,
and homemade bread, so sweet and warm
and torn for one another from the loaf we shared
and placed in waiting hands, from God through me to you,
this is my body, in remembrance,
and the sip, and wiping cup before we passed it on;
that sense that we were truly one,
raising our voices in rough harmonies,
the old psalms chanted, verses rising at the end,
the voices of the monks, rough unison
that finds such beauty in our different
timbres and perspectives,
and the kneeling, always kneeling,
in the worn stone floor below the pews,
and knowing, once again,
that we are small, and linked, and loved,  and part
of something so much larger than ourselves.

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