Saturday, December 10, 2011

Docutrines of Grace

In full disclosure:
I think I always knew
You wouldn't choose
Me.  Every weekend, singing
Your songs, something about that
Harmony rang hollow in the space
Between my soul and solar
Plexus.  There were potted tulips
By the podium last time I dragged
Myself to Your house of praise. 
It was high spring.  I haven't returned.

Now everything is falling and rotting
Like Your greatest disciples said this
World would. I was going to be one
Of them once, a warrior for You, at least
I told myself—but there was always
That falling, rotting doubt stuck deep,
Like glass embedded in my sole, scraping
As I tried to march toward You. 
I've read some books and I know now
That You built this into me:
The Blood of the Lamb
Is only enough for so many,
After all. 

Welcome to the cosmic kickball game:
I'm back in middle school gym class
Waiting against the wall
God and the Devil dividing up teams
For the Armageddon playoff.
I'm straining forward when You look at me
And there's this glow in Your eyes like
Pity—not enough, though, to change
Your choice.  You need a faster runner,
A stronger kicker, and I'm left watching
As they heed the call to Your side. 
Irresistible grace
Means they couldn't say no if they
Tried, like total depravity
Means for all my desperate glances
I'm powerless when the Adversary comes.
We all go to our separate locker rooms
Just like you planned it before the dawn
Of time. Remember that,
When you preheat the lake of fire for me.

Do I get a consolation prize?  All
These years running after You
Seem wasted if I was never
Meant to catch up.  Your best
Scholars wrote books on election
And they say only You elect:
My choice is predestined.
Maybe that's why Holy Writ
Turns to ash in my mouth.
In a limited atonement economy
There's no upward mobility;
My perseverance never meant a
Damn thing, but pardon me if I can't
Take my damnation like a man. 
I have a few questions before I begin
My weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Before You formed me in the womb
You knew me and marked me to burn:
What kind of god is that?  Will You
Answer for Yourself, Adonai,
Or as kindling for the flames am I
Still unworthy of speech? Our Father
Who Art In Heaven, You have
To say something
I don't know
Why You're doing this
I'm smaller and weaker
And I know I was never
Your favorite son
But I'm still your son, dammit,
I'm still your son

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