I was searching for some papers in the depths of my drawer. I never found what I was looking for, but I came across something I wrote a few years ago. (In the very DEEP depths of my drawer.) I’m not sure exactly what “space” I was in when I wrote this rhyming ramble, (I couldn’t venture to call it poetry,) but I believe I was responding to a question that the world frequently asks me: “Are you religious?” It sounds so much like a dirty word, and with good reason too. I often don’t know how to respond. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, but does that force me to answer “yes”? Personally, I believe the question begs the question: “What do you mean by religious?”
In light of the weight that this question holds, and the different sentiments towards the word “religion,” here is my ballad to answer the world’s question:
Are You Religious?
She asks me if I’m religious
I smile and say “no”
But there’s nothing to show.
The church passes by
There’s shame on the street
Is it written in His blood?
Is this my defeat?
I wonder what I’m ashamed of
I don’t wonder long
A cry from my heart
As they lead Him along.
Preachers, priests, and bishops, oh my!
They did not care should we live or die
Just follow my rules:
I don’t love you
I need my power
You need to belong.
It’s not about love, nor a creator on high
But the power to oppress and the power to lie.
Many have fought in His Precious Name
To destroy the nations and bring Him shame.
Might as well have ignored the woes of man’s hearts
Cast them upon their backs and stolen their arts.
They’re sitting in their living rooms, worshipping their T.V.
There’s something they are missing
There’s something they do not see.
Maybe on a Sunday, they worship in that church
Cookie cut-outs and kool-aid and identical buttoned shirts.
I feel saved, I feel good
But the children are crying
As we’re nailing the wood…
“Sorry,” I say, “I did what I should”
“Perhaps my organization will do what it could.”
They’re shocked by differences while trying to fit in
Following a revolutionist
Not knowing where to begin.
So carry your own burden
As they fail to see
They might as well be killing you,
Nailing you to a tree.
This is not what I love
This is not what I know
So when she asks if I’m religious,
I simply say “no.”
But there’s something inside of me
That makes my heart cry
For the love of a man
Who was willing to die.
It’s not about a building with a cross way up high
Nor the myth of a man who lives in the sky
Peel away your thoughts of corrupted mortal men
In the nakedness of time,
Let’s start this one again
Have you ever sought perfection while creating something new?
Been frustrated by the failure and wondered what to do?
Gone out into the wild, where trees can still be found?
Wondered at their majesty or the ocean’s mighty sound?
The beauty of this world is perfection undefined
Like the song of a poet to a knowledge-seeking mind.
There’s something there to worship
There’s something there to love
Call it “Mother Earth” or a spirit from above.
A creator’s a Creator
And science can’t explain
The simple love and beauty
This world cannot contain
Amidst our evil-doings
This love is found anew
In the compassion of a man
Who did what we should do.