Poem: One More Time Again
An hour or two past Benediction,
after you have closed the door of the church behind you
and wandered into the wilderness you live in,
stumbling into another holy place,
overgrown and wild. Marble stones toppled,
the old factory long left to die,
a few columns still standing amidst the brambles,
your own sanctuary of the God you worship,
a God of grace who loves the abandoned and neglected
more than the whole.
You have felt your God at work,
seen what love can do. Seen what can be resurrected
never by anger or power, but only,
only, dare you say only?
Compassion and connection.
Wind blows through the trees,
the last leaves of fall crackling,
its own music. The dead singing.
you listen. You meditate. You allow yourself
to be filled. Prepared. Strengthened
to enter the sanctuaries of others,
a new man
one more time again.
About this poem
I am a pastor of a small church in rural Vermont. I have the privilege of serving a loving congregation in one of the most beautiful and worshipful little church. I do all the preacher things to create a worshipful experience for my parishoners and any visitors who join us.
But my own worship is best done in the empty places. The woods. Abandoned buildings. The edge of the ocean. The picture above is one of my personal sanctuaries. The picture below is of the church I serve. I truly have the best of all worlds.
I often call God the God of the Abandoned because of the role he played in my own personal spiritual (and mental and physical) resurrection from a dead time in my life. It’s a ministry I take seriously.