If he only appears in faithless clichés
the “right” words yet gutted
and hollow; if the sounds of stale chords,
senselessly reverberating nothingness,
supposedly signal his coming…
If his face is stained glass, a rainbow of color
but two-dimensional, flat, superficially profound;
if sacraments and ceremony
replace the reality and deaden the
senses, mirroring only ritual...
If he’s shaped with paper-mâché,
carefully pasted and artfully designed
but only concealing vacancy; if pain and
tears bore holes that we mend with the tape of our
good intentions and call it his grace...
Then that is alone.
But if he is not our artwork at all; if he defies our
traditions, redemptively reveals the paucity
hidden in our claims of piety; if his form is human
flesh; if his word isn’t merely an echo in the wind
but cuts in order to heal, restores, and fills...
Then that is real and like coming home.
This poem was originally published at Laura’s blog.