Monday, 17 August 2009

Steeple - Deborah Steinmair

I have this poem in a poetry collection by Deborah Steinmair and it speaks to me every time.


Your church is as old as time
Lonely as the centuries
It lifts my soul to the sky
I lower my eyes

Your church is convenient
Prayer is no longer needed
Mother Mary prays to sweet Jesus for you
And the priest blesses your bread and meat
So you don't even need to say grace at the table

Your church is very fair
You don't even need to go there
All they ask is a monthly down payment on eternal salvation

Your church is high and pretty
And visible on the outside where it counts
Where people can see
The Bible says the real thing is inside

The real thing is hidden in the heart
Where the God who is no longer dead alone sees
The real thing is loving Jesus
Not the picture of a suffering saviour
But close like the breath of a friend
The real thing is a soft heart in your breast
The real thing knows no form or status
No ritual or ancient elegance
The real thing sat down, ate and drank wine
At the table of thieves and freaks and the poor
The real thing is Jesus alive
They would not recognise Him at the church door

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