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Chocolate Church – poems of hollow faith & resurrection hope April 13, 2011

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.

In a previous post I stated that individuals, communities and sometimes nations need a few more Christian songs that express pain, suffering, and a deep and certain hope.

Eighteen years ago I started writing poems. Many were based on personal experience, but not always my own, and I spend a while using them to explore how ‘interesting’ life is, faith is, and sometimes just how interesting language is.

I got to perform them in a few places and even got paid in a couple of venues. Enough people said that some of them were really quite good so I eventually put them on a website and forgot about them. Every couple of years someone stumbles across them and emails me.

One collection with an Easter theme was centered around the idea that the image we portray to the world and the “I’m fine thanks, how are you” greetings don’t always match up with how we feel or what we’re invited to sing on Sunday.

Here’s something I wrote fifteen or sixteen years ago…

How long?

How long, O Lord?
How long,
Till I sing the songs for real?
How long, O Lord?
How long,
Till the words match how I feel?
How long until I feel my smile
emerging from within,
or until it’s safe
to declare my faith
without this stupid grin.
For I do believe
that I love you
and I know that you love me
but I’m tired and hurt
and these happy songs feel like hypocrisy.
I know, I trust, you’ll rescue me,
though I don’t know when or how,
and knowing that
I know that you
know how I’m feeling now.

 I’ve felt that way a few times since and have experienced enough emotional, physical and spiritual lows to know that God doesn’t abandon us at those times and that the God of the resurrection breaths his life back into us too.

We’ve been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster as we prepare to move to the other side of the planet. We’re on a bit of a high now because we might be ready to book some tickets within the next few days. One thing we can be sure of is that the ride is about to get even crazier.

I’m not sure what we’ll be blogging but we’ll try and keep it real.

Faith and Façade  
Fearing failure I feigned faith
Faking feelings I felt fraudulent
Falsehood frequently found favour
The fellowship followed
I forgot former fidelity
I forsook faith for froth
Froth failed
 On display to the world
My faith could be seen
Faith the size of a mountain
incapable of moving a mustard seed
One day I stopped pretending
Threw away the façade
And found something
I thought I’d lost
It was very small
but very valuable
and it was alive. 

 More poems from the Chocolate Church collection available here 



1. Walks of Witness, Posts of Praise | Pete, Jennifer & Joel - April 10, 2014

[…] Chocolate Church – poems of hollow faith & resurrection hope […]


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