Led to the Wilderness

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Blog | 5 comments

This drawing and poem were created as part of a trauma exercise to process an event you can read about on my post “On Conflict, Pain, & Composting.

I walked out of the sanctuary saying,
“I’m done.”
“I’m done.”

The Spirit of the Lord had left the building.
She would have nothing to do with the litigious guest
that now possessed her once holy home.

There is no reasoning with death-dealing logic.
All roads lead to dead ends,
and suffocating boxes –
coffins where people and doctrines decay.

There comes a time when things
should not be saved,
when all one can do is pivot from
restoring to composting.

John declares the ax is already at the root.
Jesus curses the fig tree,
and says that unless a seed dies and is buried
there will be no more life.

He flipped the tables,
pulled back the curtain to expose the disease,
a den of robbers,
a harbour for hatred,
whitewashed tombs,
religion gone rancid,
a house of prayer
that has inflicted wounds. 

The truth is a scandal
so the teller is sacrificed,
the contaminant neutralized
the pastor pathologized
for purity’s sake
and the survival
of the institution.

He was crucified, died, and was buried
a criminal, a blasphemer, a threat.
On the third day, he rose again.

Passing through the threshold of trauma
death was metabolized and violence alchemized
in his body.

A new day dawned
and the future right reign of God
fell into the present
waiting to be welcomed
in body, garden, and ground. 

He showed them his hands and his side
still scarred proving that the goal
is not a return to normal
but a transfiguration of the present
in light of the kin-dom come. 

I follow her out the doors
and collapse in the garden,
dust to dust,
in fetal curl
our groans commune
and my tears seed
into loamy ground. 

For a moment I free fall
into sacred solidarity
with those cast out
pummeled, and
pressed under rocks
to protect the mob from
looking into the monster’s mirrored eyes.

A voice tells me to breathe –
the advice of the midwife.

This trauma
is a teacher,
this rupture,
a portal to a new world,
this bush
burns with the presence of God.

This wilderness is a sanctuary
for a fugitive church
I cannot capture but only serve.