A place for dry bones to shake rattle and roll in the spirit of the Lord
Among a cast of hundreds of women who were strangers
Strangers I tell you until hours before
A foretaste of heaven
Look to your right and to your left
Look with the eyes of your heart
The countenances shine like you have stepped to the other side
This is the Hyatt for goodness sake
This is a hotel, glory be
Sisterhood deep and wide like the mighty Mississippi after the rains
Came for forty days and forty nights
Shoulder to shoulder breaking bread
Singing standing, singing sitting, singing dancing
And there were tears
No shortage of the salty rivers of release
Each drop a celestial star, blinking, twinkling
A milky way of mothers and others.
Small and crowded
Where you listen deep and hard and squint and furrow
Your eyes and brow
Like a net, you cast your soul to catch every single drop of good words
About art on the other side
Of the cross
You meet a woman
She is waiting in another repository of words to tell her story
And you listen
To why you breathe and make and write and why it matters
And a sister jumps up and ends the talk in prayer
Preach it sister
Worship, in a small crowded room
Hearts seeking to make art to His glory
A gathering, communion of saints, prayer
A good word delivered
Focusing on Him
In a downtown Greenville hotel.
And we rush out
Discuss how very late we are
We are late paces from the house
We are at the door
Their dog is lying in wait for church to let out
And her bike with the artful basket
Propped up on the side of this old
We slip in, slither in a pew, the sermon
It is well into the resurrection story
Of life and death
You could hear a pin drop among the sea of graying
I cast my net
Eager for words of living and dying
Shoulder to shoulder, twenty-five years
And a baby cries
And the organ plays
And we speak to the preacher on our way out
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was, it shall forever be
The dog picks up his people and they go home
Church is out.
And we breathe deep the glory from our time
16 thoughts on “Church”
This is beautiful poetry and beautiful truth. The church is alive and is to be found in more places than a sanctuary, including hotels. Thanks for sharing this!
LIsa thank you for hearing my heart. Thank you for encouraging me always. You are a gift.
Beautiful Elizabeth, as always.
Thank you Shelly. You are a sweet encourager. Thank you for being in this place. Fragrant remnants from your visit here, dear one.
BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE it and YOU> Love, Dad
It was the Hyatt, for goodness sake! And, I love this: “Sisterhood deep and wide like the mighty Mississippi after the rains.”
A foretaste of heaven, indeed. And I got to share it with you 🙂
It was a foretaste, a banquet table. Thank you for encouraging me always, loving me so so well. I miss you, I hope you know, And thinking today especially of you and your beloved country The Phillipians, devastating and heart aching.
Love what you’ve done here, Elizabeth – painted us pictures of the many faces of church. Thank you.
Your smile and your words, a balm a balm. I feel ten feet off the ground when you come around these parts. My soul is fed by your encouraging heart.
I remember this well. I got lost and was found several times over that weekend..there after a long season of licking my Elijah wounds thinking the world had gone mad and I was the only one left of my kind. Hungry. Thirsty for word of the Word. God sent angels with that word–and evidenced through those gathered and reserved who would not bend a knee to any stinkin’ Baal. They ministered His kindness and some “hush hush, there, there” and it was alright. It was all right again. Amen.
Loretta, your comment reads like a poem. What a story you tell, re-tell so beautifully here in this space. I am over-joyed to have you as a new friend. What a gift your heart is.
Thank you, just thank you. Words fail me now.
Oh, Elizabeth! Beautiful! I especially love this line: “salty rivers of release!”
Deb it was a highlight of Allume working beside you and worshiping beside you. What a treat to hug you in the flesh. I am still savoring all of my memories there. What a time it was. Glory be. Peace to you friend. Peace to you.
And you are part of my church, friend. Such loveliness. A deep breath for me today. Thank you, Elizabeth. Hugs to you.
This is really beautiful! I am so thankful you shared. This is church, in all its many, varying ways — the church is people. Lovely!
Christy @ A Heartening Life
My friend, just a little time to catch up on your gorgeous words this morning. Your voice, grace, love, surrender, gratitude pulsing through the lines. How you bless me, Elizabeth. Thank you.