July 03, 2009
Some that I know enfold belief in warm
Embrace, like an over-stuffed teddy bear;
Recline there comfortable and free from harm,
As though faith were a harbor, safe; secure
From fear or questions, shallow source of joy.
A relic from childhood, perhaps. A toy.
Others clutch it desperately, knuckles white;
A lifeline from an unseen ship amid
A sea of doubts. They peer but catch no sight
Of hope to justify their trust; just dread.
This soggy rope might be adrift. No source
Of life, an anchor on a downward course.
Then there are those who wield it like a sword,
A hacking, slashing weapon made to crush
Both infidel and heathen with The Word.
And handy, too, for slicing through thick brush,
Overgrown hedge of bothersome debate
And arguments from people that they hate.
My faith resembles none of these. It is,
Abides. Not blanket, opiate or crutch.
A story that I feel and know and prize,
Sweet music, metaphor made flesh, a touch
Of the divine, I think. Belief, here now
Then gone; a sometimes absence I allow
Like bitter parting from a cherished friend.
More true than real: an authentic fiction.
Doesn't quite break, no matter how I bend.
A mystery that offers benediction.
The part of me that knows how to transcend
And sees strange meanings in a crucifixion.