Photo of the waves in the Pacific ocean breaking on a rocky shoreline
[Image Description: low, blue-gray ocean waves crashing on a rocky shoreline in the foreground with a gray sky in the background.]

Staring at scripture,
feeling connection severed,
words barely resonate,
like fiction written
for another time.

Look around.

Wicked prospering
for centuries,
exploitation, extraction, eradication,
while earth suffers,
gasps for relief,
and the righteous die
of hate crimes,
man-made disasters,
preventable medical crises
untreated due to cost of care.

Faith, some say, should
cause radical transformation,
radical community,
radical love,
but look inside most churches
and find the same hierarchy,
thirst for control,
the same willful disregard
as on the outside,
but with a shiny Christian label,

manipulating people to
believe good works are
donating gifts for the disadvantaged,
giving old clothes to the homeless shelter,
dropping groceries to the food pantry,
patting ourselves on the back
as we drive away

as though congregations
haven’t spent years
elevating people who,
from greed and power,
conjure the conditions for
housing insecurity,
from a world of abundance,

selling myths of
irresponsible individuals
and climate change denial,
pointing away,
sleight of hand,
from systems of abuse,
their own wicked policies,
all while claiming virtue

and I want
to scream,
to wail,
to fling my Bible
into the rising ocean,
and sit,
hands to earth,
drinking in deep truths
from mother trees
and non-human animals
and water wisdom
and thin places
and learn an entirely different
way of being.

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