I hear the name of this church and fear and anger encompass my very body. I’m an embodiment of both anger and empathy, but I am yet to see the very roots that I had wither away as I process through my own hate. I’m sorry and I forgive, but forgiveness isn’t a singularity and neither is the grace that covers over me like a shadow. I gave up everything hoping that I would fit under your branding, but I was nothing more than a barcode to be sold to the best consumer and it wasn’t even you. I’m tired of being tired, and I’m tired of running away. I think of the joy I would have leaving this city, but I can’t help but pity the very essence of what I see: a house of thieves. I don’t want to sell doves and I am simply pursuing love, but what was once a truth is a lie. I can’t lie. You’re the blame.
What happens when my name is slandered by pastors? They walk around like Pharisees thinking that they are unlike the tax collector that I am. I’m not a thief, but I ask for mercy as you lift your nose up at me. I can’t help but scream, and yet I still have hope for the things unseen. You’re a lier. Your branding is a selling of indulgences, and you’re really good at that. You say you want freedom, but your pyramid scheme wouldn’t have even been built by the Egyptians. Though, you do fit the role of Pharaoh. I’m covering the door frame of my heart with blood, so maybe death will creep over me while I weep to know that you would.
What about those meetings? What about the times where I wasn’t even given a voice? Are you a church? Are you a monarch? Are you an oligarchy? The lines are so blurred. I shouldn’t be afraid. That’s called abuse. I’ve left the system but I can’t get rid of you. You never once asked to talk to me, but you felt like you had to deal with me. You never once talked with me, but you talked about me without me being present to even defend myself from your prideful idolatry. You have no power, and the anointing you proclaim is merely ego. Why don’t you just let go? Take up your cross, die to yourself, and stop playing games because you’re only building yourself.
I cannot express the amount of alcohol that it takes to blur you from my head, nor can I explain the number of cigarettes I have smoked hoping it would ease the tension within myself knowing that you have turned me away. I don’t expect an apology. I just want you to know what you did to me. I write poems about you. I sing about you. I listened to your album. I can’t shake you off of me. I can’t get over this monstrosity and it’s killing me. I was there for you and you were not there for me, so why won’t my mind let you fully leave? I was devoted, I went to your college, I took my education that you provided, and now I’m called a heretic and idiot for what you have made me see. I truly hope that you receive your blessing when everything you built crumbles. You’re a house of bandits. You’re a den of lions. Why couldn’t you let me be me?
I fight with God because the pain I feel is unbearable. I can’t take this anymore. I see you in my workplace. I see you on the street. I see you everywhere and I’m crying at the feet of God hoping that all of this would go away as I claw inside hoping I could breathe. When will the crying end? When will I be free? Please, relive me so that I can be me.
Do you want to know what I believe? Do you want to see what I have seen? Of course not, because you wouldn’t ever speak to me. Do you have any plans? Do you profit from the pocket of others? I’m not interested in your response, but a rhetoric would be nice to contemplate while this bothers you. You may never read this. I really don’t care. At least I have my emotions out and open, while you keep your secrets and demons trapped under the pastor’s hand. Your green roof makes me think of vipers, and the parking lot a den of foxes, but when I see your billboard church I think I see the problem: you.