Belief Escapes Me

Belief escapes me
despite the six-figure paper hanging on my wall
despite having mastered divinity
despite my theological pedigree
after twenty five years of a journey
towards truth and light
through clouds of tears
and crooned Hillsong
prom songs to Jesus and
accountability groups
three years at the school of
“eruditio et religio”
that left me gutted
on the altar of religion

I am no closer to enlightenment
than I was as an infant

Belief escapes me
despite new ways, new traditions
despite the muttered creed at mass
despite orders and hours
the cross drawn across my chest
where a heart that is more fear than faith
more anxiety than awe
beats through the service
afraid of what has passed
desperate to get to the one part
that makes sense

that part where we eat

because when we eat
the crunching of christ’s body in my mouth
for a split second
drowns out the people shouting
and the warmth of his blood in my throat
melts the frozen paling
placed there by gatekeepers
and doctrine watchdogs

belief still escapes me
and i wish
that I could call myself anything but Christian
that I could simply be swallowed in the sea of nones
but my wild hope that at the end
Christ will still welcome me
despite loving other men
despite doctrinal impurity
despite failure to love my neighbor
and my unwillingness to see
the scintillating realness
of a world held together by love
stretched dyed and dead
is the one thing standing
between me and oblivion

I’m an awful christian
(if I even am a christian)
but I’ve got the wild hope
of a mouth-foaming
resurrection rebel

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