Monday, October 15, 2007

Lament of an Evangelical

The other day at Seminary we had a "morning of prayer" and during the time of lament I felt compelled to share (with tears) this one that I wrote earlier this year. I have had several requests for a copy, and so I'm making it available here. Its about as intensely personal as I want to get on a blog, and a part of me hesitates to share it. But then I remember how much I hate the type of Chrsitianity where only the "Shiny Happy" is allowed . . . and so I offer this side of worship - a lament:

Inherited a faith
I've loved and hated both:
Loved more sometimes than God-
Which leads to hating it the most.

Grew into a church
I'd grow in and out of always:
Wanting to burn it down
One out of a month of Sundays.

I can read the Bible good
But I pray like an ass.
I should find a better word than that,
My prayer-life is way more crass.

A faith I feel in guilt
And lose at a twitch in pride.
The good part is I love God more
When I hate myself inside.

Been given countless blessings:
Family here and there,
Friends I can rely on,
Two boys and one I call "my dear".

I'd die for them I would,
Yet with my words I kill.
There is nothing quite as hard
As surrendering the self-will.

I want to give them everything;
To put joy inside their hearts.
And yet myself I will leave scars
When I have left my part.

There is nothing here worth doing.
My good just makes me proud.
Riddled as it is with bad besides -
Just let me duck behind the shroud.

If I could I'd give up,
But something keeps me here.
It must, it must get better.
And I live for you my dear.

I'd rather live to say my sorries
Than die a thousand deaths.
I'd rather spend a thousand summers
Paying all my debts.

But paid it is, it's easy,
And there's nothing I can do
But sit here and fell guilty
And then give myself to You.

A faith that I've inherited,
That I tarnish everyday;
A God I can't live up to,
And a price I cannot pay.

A painless life I've lived,
And yet a psychy full of scars.
I know the pain I put you through -
Wish I could once see my own stars.

But once I bleed or touch the pain
My desire goes away:
"Get me the hell out of here," I say,
"And return me to my play."

For all I have been given,
I have not given much.
They are right when they accuse me
That my Jesus is a crutch.

As such this is my faith.
As much as this my prayer:
That You, O God, would know me,
And still give a damn; a care.


Tony Tanti said...

I'm moved Jon. I echo must of your emotion here and am refreshed to hear you say and admit these things. It makes my own struggles feel more bearable to know I share them with one of my best friends.

Thanks for sharing this and for refusing to always be "shiny and happy" especially when it takes faking it to be those things.

erin said...

thanks for being authentic...

the Doug said...

thank you.

DeusAlpha said...

"If I could I'd give up,
But something keeps me here.
It must, it must get better."

I can really relate to that...