taking the words of Jesus seriously

If I were a pastor

I’d speak of fire –

Not the fire of Hell

Or condemnation,

But the fire of creation,

The pure fire of existence,

The inevitable, impossible combustion

Of hand and heart and mind

Upon a waiting, needy world.


But somehow sermons are boring

And pastors speak quietly

Or even loudly

Of words that sit upon a page

Instead of words that stir

And burn

And strengthen

And never fail to leave the world unchanged.


The world is waiting

For a hand that loves it,

A heart that sees it,

And a mind that knows

That life is far more than knowing.


If I were a pastor

I’d dwell in silence

Or song

And do my best

To never betray

The words that came to bring life.


I’d howl

And cry

And thrash like a fool

On that holy ground

Until I found those rare and fierce words

That hold truth like a sacred perpetual flame.


Somehow we know

That words unleashed

Have a power beyond time

And the right word

Is like a storm passing through,

A fire breaking free,

A silence unbound.


About The Author


Faith is not a formula. And I wouldn't even use the word 'relationship' - and probably not the metaphor of 'a journey'. The older I get, the more it seems that faith is a process - a determined focus on listening to the eternal, sifting out the noise and distractions and becoming closer with each breath and each word, to the fullness - and emptiness - of the pulse, hand and purpose of our Creator, which, ultimately brings us where we belong. I'm a teacher and writer, which really means that I am a listener and I share what I see and hear.

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