The room is dominated by a crucifix

crucified to the wall.

At the front of the aisle,

the preacher stands.

His feet shuffle on the carpet.

His arms raise toward Heaven.

A tingle creeps up my arms,

the details of crucifixion

making themselves known along my skin.

Sitting on the hardwood pew,

my feet barely touch carpet.

The girl beside me picks at her hangnails.

The Preacher moves down the aisle

amidst hallelujah!s and amen!s,

pointing at the crucifix looming

in the background, slapping his palm

against his Bible, mimicking nails.

I stare at the carpet.

A carpet of dryness grows inside my mouth

as the Preacher makes his way

down the aisle. A line of sweat grows

in the crux of my back

as the shadow of the crucifix

leans over the congregation.

Moving back toward the crucifix

at the front of the aisle, the Preacher

makes dark tracks in the carpet.

Arms raise like Hosanna palm

branches as he begins to pray,

beckoning converts with arcs of his arm.

The crucifix sits affixed to the wall, nailed

to plaster and wooden beams. I walk

toward it and the preacher, making the slow

pilgrimage of new believers, carving my own dark

tracks into the carpet.

I raise my arms.


3 thoughts on “Sermon

    • Yes and no. It’s basically a criticism of the way most churches do evangelism – altar calls apart from discipleship. “Just come up front and say a prayer and God will have to save you” kind of stuff. But, it’s also partly from my memory of being saved and converting, and that’s not bad. What it basically is critiquing is not the emotionalism itself, but the emotionalism without content that a lot of Christians engage in

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