I want to retreat
To shield myself from anyone
Who has not sat in this seat
Who has not kneeled in a pew
And fought the urge
To spit on the floor.
I wonder who all those candles are for
Are they for the living or for the dead?
I hear little of what is said
Except “Come to me in your imperfection.”
An invitation from Christ himself
From thousands of years ago
(They say the offer is still good).
I walk hesitantly forward
(what do I have to lose?)
and submit to the cross drawn on my forehead.
When the priest closes his eyes
after anointing me with this healing oil
I wonder… is he really praying over me?
(and ps how long does this take to work?)
Every now and then.
There is such a long line of people behind me
waiting to be touched by his old, dry hands.
Sometimes I wish I could believe more fully,
and take more at face value
without these obnoxious, pestering question marks
that turn my world into an ugly courtroom
WAIT–I am pretty sure that hymnal music is coming from an iPhone.
Oh my sweet Tinsley,
I wanted so much to teach you life is harder
but unmistakably more satisfying
when taken with a healthy dose of skepticism
And the way we make it easier, a bit softer
is through laughter.