I couldn’t help but title this one ‘altar’d state’ even though it’s the name of a store.
I begged God to send me tools to
Build an altar of remembrance.
Desperate for a place to rest
When my mind often forgets.
he answered me through hallowed ground;
the holy earth opened wide and swallowed
I fell in
I fell into him
into the deep black swirls of mysteries that man hasn’t solved yet.
“What hell is this?”
In a still small voice,
He answered, “build it”
So I took what I had in the pit,
I built from the mud of my suffering,
As I was building,
He was with me
In the soft wet earth under my fingernails
And the grime on my skin
sprinkled gold with his light from heaven
As the altar grew taller
The earth sunk deeper and deeper into herself
Like we all do under suffering.
And I got angry at God
Shaking my fists,
“I asked you to remind me of heaven
Not of this forsakenness”
And his still small voice said,
“This is it.
The upside-down kingdom.”
My suffering was my altar,
Bringing me close to Jesus
Because in an upside-down kingdom,
When suffering takes us under,
And fights to bury us in the earth
We grow closer to heaven.