I am prayer.
I am community.
I am God’s anointed.
I am the standing, sitting, processing,
kneeling, genuflecting, all as able.
I am the gestures across the heart,
the twiddling fingers tracing the Gospel cross
I am the stillness,
I am he/him/his,
ally of her, zir, and singular them.
I am the erring and straying lost sheep,
lost, because the resolutions rain down on me,
the arrows of the hordes standing behind their high walls
their altar gates,
I am that oil running down Aaron’s beard,
caressing his pomegranate skin,
knowing the ephod’s secrets,
his cast of stones.
I am looking,
searching for that love that endureth forever,
searching for my “in sickness and in health,”
my “til death do us part,”
searching for my dearly beloved.
Of those 1,000+ pages, where is my name mentioned?
Of the Rites, where am I a worthy partaker?
Does not my history, 26 years and counting, give me authority?
Does not my family of clergy and laity give me weight?
Do not my education, my “thy before thee except after thou,”
my ἐκέκρικα, my experience,
my visions and prayers count?
I am the μὴ γένοιτο.
I am not Paul’s model:
the celibate man,
the eraser of false teachings.
I am not the good will on both sides—
bearing torches and flaming crosses
stabbing with my piercing tongue
throwing brothers, sisters, siblings
from the rooftops,
beating with chastening rods
leaving them to hang on fenceposts
to give up their ghost.
I am the meek heart and due diligence,
the people walking to the new creation,
el desamparado, el necesitado.
Wait, I thought I was a very well organized,
very well financed,
very powerful hijacker—
then why do I get death stares?
Why do people want me behind electric fences?
Why do I have to work against the grain
flailing my arms at policies smothering me,
as I shout out to a panel
of men staring at each other
while I throw the Bible right back at them?
If you know where that money is,
show me, sugar daddy.
I am the Texan, rising in support
of my own voice.
I am treading the path through the blood of the slaughtered,
facing the rising sun of my new day begun.
I am the weak theology,
I am Te Deum, Hildegard, Bach,
Wesley, Willan, Price, Pulkingham;
I am Montes, S and A’s.
I am solace, strength, pardon, renewal.
I am 高興歡喜
I am in print, featured in Church Publishing,
not that other idea from long ago,
left to collect dust,
or suffer, scaffolded in irate and greedy beaurocracy.
I am página 284,
You can decide what you want
in this ecclesia viae mediae,
But just know,
I know how best to show God’s love in my life,
for I am the Book of Common Prayer.