God

I wish you could have been there. In the Chelsea church with me.


I took God back through a spoken word poem.

I’m sure I never told you that. It’s been 16 months since we last spoke (19, if I’m really counting) and I thought you should know that I took Him back. And I’ve learned to capitalize all the He’s & Him’s that hold His name because He’s been good to me in a way you never knew how to be.  But I don’t blame you for that. We’re all broken, so I don’t blame you.

But I wish you had been there. Beside me on the balcony as a girl down below poured Perfect Pearled Prophesy out from her lips, like no Poetry I’d ever heard. Never, never, never, did I know things with more Sweet & Tang than Sunny D could exist on the lips of people so human. And I thought, that’s God. He’s shining in her.

And I lifted my arms up to the rafters as I imagined the nightlife creeping up with laughter outside the walls of my church tucked close to the bedside of Chelsea Market.

And I took Him back.

Like the man who stands outside the car whose tires have just lent themselves to screeching, vowing that he won’t walk away til’ morning. Not til’ she rolls down her window & lets him in. I took Him back in that way.

The girl spoke of a car crash. Not a literal one. But the one in her soul that resembled the Crashes where the caution tapes been drawn and the mother has had Five Minutes of Holding by the stranger wearing the blue police uniform who questions God too. She spoke it and called it by name, this place in her soul: Ugly. Hurt. Crushed. Untouched. Tainted. Deceived. Messy.

And I thought, I know that place. The places we could never talk about together cause you always called it moving on and I stayed back wondering if I could handle to gather more pieces.

The dark places. That places that never gets the flashlights or the lanterns or the Christmas bulbs. No, we just keep on trudging to find other pockets of happiness, forgetting we were battered. Bruised & Broken. Wronged.

And sitting on your bed, with a barrier of experience so thick between us, you asked if I would ever go back. To God. To prayers before bed. To Bible in the morning.

“Probably not… I don’t know… I’m just so hurt…”

One-syllable kind of words was all the conversation could hold– breaking like that game we barely ever played because there was so much damn assembly required. With the penguins. And the tissues. And the marbles. And the water. Don’t Break the Ice, wasn’t that the name?

And we took to separate corners of the earth when I really should have told you I was more hurt than I had words for… and I still needed a Savior more than ever before. And it would never be you. I’m so sorry dear, it would never be you.

I wish I could have found the words to tell you then that I still believed in God. & prayers. & healing. Even when Religion had Indian-burned my wrists like fifth graders on the bus rides to school. When Religion left me thinking maybe I would never go back there… Bury it in the dirt and move forward, for its Bibles & Condemning & Preaching had hurt me too badly.

I wish you could have been there. In the Chelsea church with me.

Like a 5-year-old waiting in the wings for her father to stroll down the aisle of her ballet recital, I wish you could have been there. To see me take Him back. How easily it happened. How effortless. How much grace poured in to water the limbs of a girl who had become like a Tin Man. Needing a wizard. Needing a new heart.

Maybe then we wouldn’t have ended up on bar stools.  Dry liquor between us as you told me you decided that you didn’t believe anymore. In someone who could clear away the crash. In an Abba within a world that failed us yesterday. That God was now sitting in an abandoned waiting room, locked up inside you, beside a woman who collects baby teeth at night and an obese man who devour cookies before filling up the bottoms of our evergreens with wrapping paper.

I didn’t have the courage then to tell you I’d never lost the faith.

I didn’t have the courage to share with you a Gospel that felt so foreign and strange on my hands.

I didn’t have the words yet to tell you that no Tomorrow would ever hold a day when I didn’t need a savior. A higher power. A God who caught my every tear in big ol’ basins made on the angels’ pottery wheels.

Because if I don’t have that, then what? Then what? Then what?

I’m sorry I never told you… about the spoken word poem. About the surrender. About the God who showed up in the rafters to handle my junk like fine china.

I’m leaving these words here.

And if you still read me, like the days when you promised you always would, then maybe we’ll talk again soon.

Maybe you’ll find my number.

Maybe you’ll dial.

 & ask me why I believe in Him now more than ever.

I’ll answer.

 

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6 thoughts on “I wish you could have been there. In the Chelsea church with me.

  1. Chills. I don’t know who you’re writing to, but something inside me says it’s not so far from the person I imagine in my own head, the one who apparently reads my words though it’s been years since my hamstrings last stuck to the pews in his church. I could never have written it so eloquently though.

  2. hernameishannah says:

    That was chill inducing. The way you worded it was like a fine script that only you knew how to write the exact way you did, beautiful lines and curves marked with grace.

  3. kate says:

    this is breathtaking. so transparent. so real. so raw. thank you so much. i felt God in all your words. those words that have hung on the so many broken hearts. thank you. simply amazing.

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