The Sunday Saints

I can love the broken

They pour themselves out

Like a wild waterfall

Strange and off-putting

But sticky and present

I can drink in

Something so quivering and substantive

They apologize for themselves

With each breath

It’s easy to forgive.

I can love the abject failures

They can’t hide

They can’t judge

They can’t alienate

They invite me into their stories

Because I have failed, too

If I’m honest

It feels good to be honest.

I can love the poor and the needy

What they lack

I can offer

They have problems but

They aren’t the problem

I am

If I condescend

It bends my love into

Something they can’t use.

I can love the grieving

Jesus wept

He knew

Lazurus would rise

Still he wept

To be part of a community of loss.

I can love the battered and bruised

I can put my hand to their wounds

I can feel rage at their oppressors

I can boil my blood with their heat

I can join their quest for justice

Which elevates all boats

Even mine.

I can love the condemned and the rejected

The humiliated and the disgraced

The promiscuous and the foolish

The loose and the lazy

The soiled and the impure

Even the immoral and the criminal

If they know themselves

If they confess who they are

If they open their eyes

If they try, try, again.

The sinners may hurt me

They may annoy me

They may disturb me

They may disrupt me

They may repel me

But I can still find them in my heart

I can still give them a hand.

But Oh God

Please help me to love

The perfect

The righteous

The self-assured

The certain

The heroes

The beautiful

The accomplished

The godly

The celebrated

The admired

The worshipped

The holy

The strong

The mighty fortresses

Who are their own gods

That keep us at a distance

With their defenses

Their high walls and lovely facades.

They can unleash fire

But can take no fire

They love those walls

They love those walls

So I erect my own.

Oh God, give me the sinners

Every day of the week.

But help me to love

The Sunday saints.

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