The Pulpit And The Altar-Part 1. [A Testimony]

 

You have imparted an ellipses breathing

Taught me an [omniscient omnipotent omnipresent] presence

Though competent were your teachings

And descending like crippled carriages down Babylon

Were your preachings

 

I have reached

This place

I’m afraid to name

I’m afraid I’ll be condemned

Afraid I’ll be rejected

If I don’t profess his name the way that you have taught me

I believe that the word or God, or the word or God is

is…is….is…. ….. ……

There

That ellipsis breathing that you’ve imparted

 

The older we get the less heroic they become

We start realizing that their shelter

leaks

Has mice lurking underneath couches,

Flies that hover over food in summer

And glasses that break from time to time

 

Eventually grace is not said as easily over meals

 

I’m afraid I’ll get there

And there will be no Heaven

No hell

No devils

No angels

Or trumpets

That there will be no solace

Or me

 

I ‘m afraid I won’t be there

And my name won’t be written in the book of life

Or that the book of life has already birthed us on earth

I’m afraid of the non-existent

But I know something exists

 

I saw him-

Brother

Descending like a crippled carriage down Babylon

Releasing smoke signals from his lungs

And though they flagged trouble

No one inhaled or choked

But him

 

We washed our hands clean

But mother never stopped praying

Everybody was too busy to notice that heaven

was experiencing technical difficulty

But mother never stopped praying

 

Things went missing

But Mother never stopped praying

Moved from a house into a caravan park

Nights unbearably cold and homework by the light of a  lamp

But mother never stopped praying

Mother lost her mother

But she never stopped praying

 

Congregation on their knees, applauding, weeping, pleading

I glance over at mother

Who hasn’t stopped praying

Her mind fixated

All the time

On a man named Jesus

His mercies

His grace

His love

A son that He sacrificed

On his word

His promises

She dwells on his promises

She promised that  her household will serve him

All the days of their lives

 

You’d never hear a cuss

uttered in the house

Just the sound of mother praying

Sopies substituted with TBN

ben10 and Kim Possible

diverted to church at 9 am.

 

Brother and daughter fight again over something trivial

Mother’s still praying

Brother’s been sleeping for three days in a row

Mother’s still praying

Brother bunks school

Brother fails another year

Brother wastes money

Brother steals money

Brother baptized

Brother Backslidden

Brother gives his life to the Lord

Brother hates the Lord

Because of something father has done

Lord becomes foreign to brother

Brother makes his addiction Lord

Mother’s still praying.

 

Brother’s delivered

Mother’s never stopped praying

 

Brother needs rehab

Mother still’s praying

Brother’s been arrested

Mother’s still praying

Brother’s released

Mother’s still praying

Brother’s lungs quiver

Brother’s prone to headaches

Brother goes for x-rays

Withdrawal symptoms

casting his mind back to when his self-esteem was high

and he saw himself as pure and holy and worthy

when he gathered with the saints

he met in his state of euphoria

And the trinity of hubbly bubbly, cigarettes and drinking spirits

Painted a picture of less suffering

This, before he begun to draw nearer to the man mother’s mind has been fixated on.

 

Mother has gathered the family for daily night prayer

And

Someone’s

In the bathroom

shouting

“I need a miracle”

In the kitchen

Singing

“Praise God”

Downstairs

slapping hallelujah from their lips

and had that hallelujah come up to knock on our front door

looking for a man named Jesus

Mother  is the only one who can help them

But she  has not stopped praying

 

Someone called Jesus from our land-line

They traced the number

To the daughter’s cry

 

Daughter’s anxiety fires gunshots in her chest

Daughter self mutilates in an abattoir called the sanctuary

Mother prays  louder

Father’s infidelity

Mother prays harder

Prophecies become twisted,

Mother prays in tongues

Household communicates in gibberish

Mother praises and worships

Household threatens to spilt and divide

Mother fasts and prays

 

Mother goes to war in Congo

Daughter

Starts praying

Mother detained in Sudan

Daughter

Finds salvation

Mother’s released

Daughter is thankful

 

Daughter is obedient

Daughter is faithful

Daughter thighs

Daughter

Prays

Daughter Prays in tongues

Daughter questions tongues

Daughter reads bible

Daughter teaches in Sunday school

Daughter joins every ministry

Brother joins a ministry

Daughter goes to university

Mother is thankful

 

Daughter moves out

Daughter goes to church less

Daughter’s faith shaken

Daughter adopts other ideas

Daughter stops going to church

Daughter loathes Christians

Daughter considers herself Christian

Daughter identifies with Sufism

Daughter identifies as bisexual

Daughter identifies as straight

Daughter lives two lives

Daughter afraid to live

Daughter afraid to die

Daughter obsesses about what is on the other side

Daughter suffers in silence

Mother lets daughter know she is still praying

 

Daughter can feel mother still praying

Daughter uncertain about Moses and the red sea

Daughter uncertain about old and new testament

Daughter still listens to Gospel

Daughter uncertain about the Gospel

Daughter certain that God exists

Daughter talks to Christ

Daughter full of resentment

Daughter comes into forgiveness

Into joy

Into accepting mercy

And grace

And holding onto that man’s promises

 

Daughter understands Jesus in her own way

 

Father makes promises

Father intends to keep his promises

Father’s promises are empty

Father’s heart means well

Father loves his children

Father disappoints his children

Father stuck in his inheritance of sermons

Father lives in his sermons

Father speaks through sermons

Sermons synonymous with father’s purpose

Daughter still questioning the purpose of father’s presence

Daughter Loves father regardless

 

Mother’s still praying

Brother says amen

Brother sings amen

“Amen Brother”

Says Brother

 

Daughter’s  thinking “Oh brother”

 

Mother’s still praying

And will not relent until the second coming.

 

Daughter counts it as a blessing that Mother has never stopped praying.

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2 thoughts on “The Pulpit And The Altar-Part 1. [A Testimony]

  1. You are courageous! You speak out about the truth of life and you are heard. Journeying through life requires us to be honest if we are to relate to each other and God. Pursue truth and you will find it, of this I am sure. Love and be loved and love will be birthed in you.

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