You are the church, a poem by Melissa May

A friend of mine forwarded this poem to me and I thought it was just really interesting and lovely, so I am sharing it here. I love poetry.


When you realize that you are a church, you
should be seated, so you can position
yourself toward the sky
Should give thanks to the hands that molded
the bright arch of your cathedral shoulders
Your pipe-organ throat
Your padded and well worn thighs

You need to get comfortable with worship
With the idea of the tide singing out its song
of redemption in the house of your
stained-glass belly
You are an open sanctuary
You are a gathering of sinners
You are more than ritual, you are where
God meets earth to kiss his kingdom electric

When you realize that you are a church, you
should stop to examine the orange cherry of smoke
between your fingers
You are cedar and ceremony
You are more clean healing than baptism and blood
You are an edifice
You are a pilgrimage that believers will flock to
They will kiss the knot of your belly button and believe again
They will call the bells chiming in your pulse an experience
They will want to return

When you realize that you are a church, you
will play with the idea of sacrilege
You will wonder if recognizing the divinity in your
simple flesh is blasphemous
If you will be labeled a heretic for your audacious joy, for
the invitation to house broken things inside you
You have to remember
We get to choose what kind of place we become
With so many train stations and death beds and dark corners
in this world
Realizing what your four walls were built for can never be an act that
will separate you from Creation

You were made to be a church
You are open doors and hallelujah
You are a place where anyone can come and feel safe
You were made this way
You are the holy of holies
You are a temple of righteous beauty
You are a new tower where Babel loses its ability
to divide us

When you realize you are a church, you can start
appreciating how an imperfect thing can still
have purpose
You will start serving communion out of the cup in your
You will mend socks and broken hearts
You will be dirty
You will trade your collection plate for
a few stock pots
You will start cooking when you are hungry
Start feeding when you are lonely
You will start seeing joy bud on the horizon
like a reluctant Spring

When you realize that you are church
A place where God can be found
You will have to part with the idea that you
are beyond redemption
Will have to stop calling his house too big, too tall
too fractured, too complicated
You are a kingdom
You are manifested beauty
You are a spark of divine favor
You are on every street corner, you are
hope and wholeness

You are a CHURCH

When you realize it, throw open
your doors.

We’ve all been waiting.

~Melissa May