my worship


you would gamble
with God as your ante
of desperation

you would put God
in a book, in a box
filed in a place
in your life
you take out and put away
at your convenience

only speak to Him
in a rehearsed voice
after He has heard all your anger
your blame

no, God does not live only
in churches like this one
and I will not sit in a row
with you
and pretend family
with a flawed head

visiting church
like it is a big box store
with a shopping list of needs

and wants
bought with currency
He has no need of

remember, this is God
He knows you
your motivation
your faith (you call it that)

a going through the motions

like all this ritual
will lead you to Him

when He is
right in front of you
His arms open

if you would
step inside

but your eyes
are closed

and it is not you
but He
that opens


is not formed
when you give God
a time limit
to fix you, catch you
when you fall backwards
in a heavenly trust game

no, we don’t
give God ultimatums
or insist that He speak
to us or through us

tantrum like toddlers
when He does not

or say He is real
as if our knowing
gives Him anything

or that simple recognition
of His existence
means something like faith–
He is real to devils too

no, when God speaks

it is His whisper
in the solar plexus
that guides

like the magnetic sense
birds use for migration
but leading us to peace

if He spoke to us
with a loud voice, with
thunder shaking our bones, in tones
more purifying
than any sacrificial fire
we would run as the Israelites did
and beg for His silence

that voice calling creation
too big for our ears
even when He just sighs


About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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19 Responses to my worship

  1. mimijk says:

    I love this – and share your indignation at those who believe that God exists in a box store with a convenient name of sanctity. My most ardent prayers are those I whisper in the wind.

  2. Mama Zen says:

    I find so much truth in this. Beautiful, powerful write.

  3. Deborah Avila says:

    a perfect sermon! Lovingly Deb

  4. Rhonda says:

    Well done sfam. Absolutely well done. And could not be more true.

  5. the poetry machine says:

    Hi Susan, I’ve been reading a translation of Hafiz (by Robert Bly), and this reminds me of his ideology and my own spirituality. I really dig your style, there’s both economy and a beautiful cadence to your lines.

    Would you mind some nitpicking critique, since we have disparate styles and yet derive mutual enjoyment from each others’ works? =)

    • Not only would I not mind critique–I would welcome it, and I am a nitpicker by vocation. Glad you enjoyed.

      • the poetry machine says:

        Something else we have in common then; I thank god daily for the existence of bad press releases, else I wouldn’t be able to feed myself. 😉

        With regards to the nitpicking critique, I felt that the cadence off your lines dropped off a bit in this particular stanza, which also happens to be my favorite image in ‘my worship’:
        “like the magnetic sense
        birds use for migration
        but that leads us to peace”

        in the 2nd and 3rd lines, the line ‘birds use for migration’ doesn’t seem to flow into the line ‘but that leads us to peace’…something about the ‘but’ that breaks up the flow of imagery. Perhaps ‘of migrating birds/leading to peace’?

        It’s far from a good substitute because one loses the integrity of meaning of the original, but perhaps something in that rhythmic vein?

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