A Moan to God
The church windows line up like soldiers,
dark against white paint, portals
to a sacred space long abandoned,
repainted every so often,
carefully tended on the outside, but abandoned within.
You go inside, brushing aside years of cobwebs,
stepping in dust that leaves footprints as you pass,
and settle on an oak pew, not too close
to the cross you remember
that hangs empty on the wall.
And you pray.
No sophisticated public prayer, this;
no rise and fall of perfect words or comfortable phrases,
this is a prayer of pain unexpressively by words,
a plea, a confession, a moan to God,
your eyes open and unseeing,
your heart open and raw,
your truth here alone with you and God
for hours, until
you finally look up
and notice, not the cross,
but the windows, and how these portals,
so dark from outside, here in the abandoned sanctuary
let in light.
The picture was taken at New Bethel Baptist Church, in Botetourt County, Va. You can click on it for a larger version.