“Sunday Sermon” By: Lauren Wilkie

The pastor paused during his Sunday sermon
To ask, “Have you talked to God today?”
Well, if he’d really been asking me, I would have said,
I believe that God is the morning breeze that blows cool through my shirt
And the unknown force that wakes me from sleep
And that I talk to God every time I respond to another person’s voice with my own,
Because whatever “God” is,
We breathe it into our bloodstreams and it courses through us as oxygen
That we exhale in the words our sacred mouths speak to other people.
God travels in our respiration and fills the sky with warmth;
Whenever I look up to smile at the sunshine, I guess I’m talking to God,
And every time I close my eyes to shield them from its brightness, I guess God is answering me.
The pastor continues to speak over us with his divinely inspired message:
“We have to call God Father. I’m sorry
If you had a bad experience with your father or didn’t have a father at all,
But God is our Father and that’s what we call…Him.”
Well, I find it hard to believe that this powerful and almighty God you speak of
Would agree to be wedged into your handful of knowledge,
Unable to breathe with your fist so tightly clenched around the throat
Of this God you say controls your life and humanity and all of the universe;
You’ve claimed this infinite being as a member of the male gender.
Now, I’ve never seen God in person,
But I doubt God has a “member” that would be categorized in any gender.
If you claim to know this God so personally,
Why don’t you ask how it feels to be put into a tiny box
And shoved around a church stage –
How it feels to be paraded in front of crowds like an overdressed circus monkey
Collecting coins for performed tricks?
I don’t know what kind of box you spent your time sitting in and learning about “God,”
But whatever God is,
It’s a feeling like the shock of cold water hitting your teeth and throat,
Hurting your head then soothing it.
God moves in starlight and is older than any of those ancient, twinkling beings,
And I think I know less about God every time I turn around
And none of what I “know” has ever been for sure anyhow,
But I have reverence enough to accept what I cannot and will never know.
Yet somehow, you have come to know so much about this “God”
That you get to call “Him”
In fact, when I think about it, I can see a family resemblance –
This “God” you’re selling seems to look a lot like you.

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