In particular

Most days I am wary

I have seen the machine

I know the powers that pull

A gold pulpit’s fragile strings

Most days I remember

That healing never came

Faith that, I was assured, 

would never be put to shame 

Most days I am searching

For a place I will belong

For love and understanding

For a table wide and long

I find exclusion and fear

I find “colorblind” unity

I find “truth” without love

I find “love” with no Trinity

But it isn’t enough 

Open without hesitation

Or to close the doors 

With righteous indignation.

There has to be something

To be worth worshipping 

A reason for gathering

Or our hope means nothing

I need a deeper story

I need Jesus, in particular

Not a prophet or a hero

Not a miraculous healer

I need a better answer

More than just a mystery

More than hymns and tradition 

I need some actual history

I need for you to mean it

When you say you were set free

I need faith to believe it

When you say we’re family

I need more than feelings

Or that old time religion, 

I need faith to be more

Than a policy position

I need a shepherd with thunder

And a power that is humbled

A King with a servant’s heart

And a grave that is rumbled

I need death to be defeated

I need more than the secular

I need more than a symbol

I need Jesus, in particular. 

It’s always nice to play fair

With those who beg to differ

And I leave space at the table

Because our God is bigger

You can love who you love

And follow your heart here

You can be who you want and

There’s no need to fear 

But for me, 

there’s a specificity I see. 

Whether in song or a creed

Whether I stay or I leave,

You should know that, for me,

It’s no bigger; it’s no littler

The one thing we all need,

Is Jesus, in particular.