When Church Hurts

by Megan Benninger
                                         *
Straw men in pulpits weave yarns of conviction
That blind me and bind me into humble submission.
Are these narratives authored in naivety?
Or willfully conceived and designed to deceive?
Realities, world views that seem so sincere
Projected through microphones so cavalier,
That woo me then screw me, impregnate me with fear
Of myself and of hell and of people who are “queer”
And of not forgiving them when their own skeletons appear.
                                       *
Houses of worship constructed of bricks
Are often frail, flimsy sanctuaries of sticks
Because of the wolves who hide in their midst.
So I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow the wolves down.
One whisper of truth, one light-bearing sound,
Will topple their temple of lies to the ground.
Those scriptures they loved, that they used to abuse,
I’ll wield as a sword to cut through my noose
And set myself free of their strangling ruse.
                                         *
God’s story was not what they told it to be.
So I’m starting from scratch with the great Mystery.
I feel the Divine swirling all around me,
And I’ll trust that in all of my uncertainty
Neither height nor depth will separate me
From Love.

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