A Haunting in Churchville

I’ve not been here long

but I’ve been ‘round the block;

Seen people taken for a ride

Taken for fools and taken advantage of,

Devouring each other, and they do it to themselves.

They don’t take care; they’re too advanced

For common sense.

Takes an act of God to grow a potato

But He doesn’t actually do much these days.

In their mouths is an acknowledgment

But in their hearts a maxim:

It is better to be a Modern.

Better than…than what?

Spurn and dismiss charismata,

the other side of 13 and black cats.

Even the powers of darkness are mere shadows of yesterage;

Two and two are five if you find four inconvenient.

You may cut ingredients from your dish, but that’s a change of the menu.

Faith is yours from your parents, passed down like a good heart and freckles–

These were all born New.

Yet you’ll find the love is not like the Lord’s ocean;

You’re finely reflected in it yet find yourself bruised

For when you plunge in, lukewarm, it’s only skin-deep–

A mere puddle before the church door.

That’s the depth of many things here, easily diluted,

And easily dried.

God’s patience is long, and salvation is in it.

Yet as He is not a man that He should lie,

So He is not spaniel: the more you kick Him,

He does not the more beg for acceptance.

His patience may one day run thin, run out,

And rejection, expressed, then assent–

And a quiet departure undertaken.

If no-one Looks, no-one notices,

And then He is like the wallflower at the party,

Whose presence everyone ignores

until it’s His turn to buy the next round;

His presence has long been absent.

No-one thought He could be exasperated.

No-one thought He could be anything.

In the meantime the vacancy has been advertised,

A neon light flashes on an unseen plane:

Sanctuary to let; no fee, no paperwork.

What dark genie wouldn’t take that deal?

Folk to deceive, children to play with, free-falling

Free-flailing and the guard’s been dismissed.


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