Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sonnet Sunday: A Question of Faith

A Question of Faith

Six gold candlesticks and a central cross
Grace the altar but I cannot embrace
The vacuum of our Lord’s missing face,
The cinnamon fire that turns our gold to dross.
Where is he? He was never at a loss
For words before, except during his passion.
Jesus is, quite simply, out of fashion.
His guidance might as well be a coin toss.

When I was younger I gave my heart to him,
Eager to serve and suffer, eager to please.
In the vacuum where he doesn’t dwell
I sought him with all my being, with life and limb.
Now church just makes me cry, I’m never at ease.
If I lost what I never had, am I in hell?

If I began to talk about the grief that the Christian Faith produces in me, I would have to write a book, not a blog. I was converted at 16 and had a wild ride through cults, an undiagnosed manic-depressive who got so spiritual that Christ had to tell me when to brush my teeth. And my manias have always taken a Christian bent.

To sit in church, as I did today, and feel like an utter outcast from God--sure, the people are nice--but it's as if nothing is there for me but grief. I cry for my mistaken faith; I cry for my inability to feel anything towards God or the faith; I cry for "betting my life on Christ" and having my life blow up in my face. I think my sin is presumption, the expectation that something good should have happened within or without me because of my devotion. Then I think it might be grief for an earlier time when I could feel devotion, feel something behind the hymns and worship.

This is a troublesome area for me, but I dared going to church today despite my illness. I don't know if the tears were a good or bad thing; probably good, since I knew, vaguely, what I was crying about. I was crying about my extreme disappointment with God, as if someone shot my father. God is inscrutable to me. Christ I can't relate to. I believe in the Holy Spirit but would never say he's working in my life. Religion continues to be toxic to me, though I wish with all my heart it would offer the comfort it seems to offer others.

At 0.5 Kilorats,



  1. Testing the system--someone said he couldn't make comments here.

  2. A good sonnet, CE - very well written, honest and affecting.

    I didn't manage a sonnet myself this week, and next weekend will be the same, but I'll try to get back on track in January.


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