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One mountainous olive night I heard a hope song pour out like sweat drops of blood upon a martyr’s thorny brow; who knew the last wish of a dying son would be to make one where are found two and to undo the endless multiplication of multiple denominations creating crippled factorizations from fractions of a people like a pinkie faction who claims control of the whole person’s actions
One rung the bell for all to be one called unity where you and me find harmony in between the endless schemes of differing things we see as disjointing because we all just need the same blood stained tree
As I stood listening to my saviors forgotten prayer all the religious buildings started to stare and the steeples raised their voices, and the church bells rang their noises, and the marquees raved their choices they all sang to me the same song just in different keys, and the dissonating made me dizzy
Soon the flickering lights gave way to dissipating sights. I laid down, flat and fetal, on the old wooden road.
And I dreamed…
I saw sick congregants congregating for remedies found feigning family values refraining from mansions now meeting in meager houses, the church took up its spouses on street corners adorning the mourning with a unified message of hope, found fellowshiping in the cozy cushions of hearts where there is never a need for a bigger building or budget because love can house the universe
I saw these forsaken fortitudes of mistaken platitudes transformed into real houses of praise – now used for homeless shelters, adoption centers, rehabilitation clinics, food pantries, and art galleries filled with interracial paintings of full circle peace signs
I saw denominational marquees reprieved and their metal was beat into ploughs and trowels for the new compost garden out back
I saw bullion laid communion trays shipped off to Cash for Gold to get appraised and the money raised went to buy bread and wine for the lame and blind – they called that night their first Lord’s Supper
I saw a body that convinced unbelieving eyes, but not by cleverly-clad argumental sentiments or intellectually-gad doctrinal prods seeking tenements, but by their meagerly-glad confessional intimate love for one another
I saw millions raised for buildings used for dying civilians instead of new youth pavilions
I saw apostles admitting apostasy to their 1-800 hot lines and 4 digit prisons, as they started spitting the spirit’s salve into mud mixing the medicine of Messianic blind better cream – free of charge and free of commitment
I saw prophets prodding the pockets of suburbanite nonsense spending, redistributing lending to oppressed widows with widowed orphans collecting widower tears in clear cherry jam jars taking them one by one to the pearly gates of partiality parliament slowly building a monument for begotten change like a new Vietnam Memorial of forgotten names
I saw evangelists being Jesus instead of selling salvation and telling everyone how to be the church instead of which church to go to
I saw pastors shepherding the wounded sheep instead of bickering over budgets
I saw teachers enlightening minds at Starbucks and standing up in movie theatres to speak to crying souls
I saw congregations worshiping God instead of worshiping with or without instruments
I saw church attendance signs replaced with mirrors, so we could all be reminded of what the church really is
I saw stained glass windows shattered to make room for more doors
I saw communion tables standing outside expensive restaurants, reminding everyone of the price paid for our ultimate forgotten feast
And I saw the face of Jesus contently contained upon each and every set of eyes who accepted me just as I am, and upon every tongue that urged me to become holy like my God.
I saw unity in the body of Christ
And then I woke up
I felt the warm skin tenderness of Christ’s body, though tired and worn, broken and torn, aborted yet perpetually born. I was swept up in a dream that I know could be our present reality because I’ve seen what the body was given to achieve. And with you by my side reaching into his, together we may die to the lies of what “church” is. Now we have the opportunity to be broken on the olden tree, like the given son did when he said it was done. And I know what we have to do in order to reach a communal feast. We must break our bodies to pieces to bring the pieces of his body to peace.


from Return Return, released April 11, 2011



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David Bowden Poetry Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

David Bowden started writing his first poems at 19 after an encounter with God on a road trip to Chicago. Since then he has been using spoken word poetry to exalt the Bridegroom and beautify the bride. David currently pastors a house church under and within Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, where he lives with his beautiful wife Meagan and cat Dexter. ... more

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