I have some fairly lofty visions of what the church can and should be. But I’ve also learned that one reason churches decline or implode is when they become corrupted by human sin. The church can become a magnet for selfish abuse of power, displaced anger, exclusion and bigotry, among other human vices. Sometimes it feels like we are at war with powers and principalities even inside the places we call “sanctuary”. How do we faithfully face those dark powers and conquer them with light? I was thinking about that this week when a poem popped out. Here it is:
Let’s Be Innocent
Let’s be innocent.
Let’s believe every forlorn excuse
told by every delusional traveler we meet on the road.
Let’s be silent
when the tyrant’s voice booms in the hall.
And when the hall is empty
let’s sing our hearts out until the walls fall down.
Let’s be Jesus and Gideon and Esther.
Let’s dress for success and risk everything for our people.
Let’s wage war by weeping over our broken city.
Let’s win the battle by confusing our enemies.
Let’s tell stories with our palms pressed to our hearts.
Let’s wake up in a fog of doubt
and lie down to hopeful slumber.
Let’s give our full attention to the child
and the speckled feathers of the starling
and the stranger at the door.
Let’s give away our coats.
Let’s fiddle while Rome burns,
because Rome is not our home,
but music is.
Let’s pound on the door of the Kingdom
and not be afraid to enter
into the arms of God.