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Covenant

When I was very young, I cried loudly and thought my mother was God.

They said, ‘can we hold him?’ and ‘you are welcome here.’

 

When I was four I believed that the rest of the world was stuck in slow motion and I worshipped Batman and pro-wrestling.

They said, ‘he’s quite a handful, isn’t he?’ and ‘we’ll find ways to help him feel at home.’

 

When I was seven, and my parents divorced, I believed the world was untrustworthy.  I tried putting my faith in solitude. 

They said, ‘you don’t have to be alone’ and ‘you belong here with us.’

 

When I was 12 and I was growing up, I believed the world had too many rules.  The Gods I believed in were all extremely cool.

They said, ‘Man, you sure are cool’ and ‘mind if we hang out with you?’

 

When I was 16 and I needed a place to go, I believed in escape. 

They said, ‘if you are ever in trouble, come here’ and ‘we will give you sanctuary’

 

When I was twenty and I moved away, I prayed that I would never have to go back.

They said, ‘take us with you’ and ‘no matter where you go, we’ll be there.’

 

When I was twenty-five and I didn’t like the choices I had made, I searched my soul for another way.

They said, ‘don’t give up’ and ‘we believe you have something great to do.’

 

When I was thirty and I said I wanted to go into ministry, I began to believe in a God that cared for everyone – the lost as well as the found.

They said, ‘we always saw that in you’ and ‘welcome back.’


When I was thirty-six and looking for my own community, I struggled to know a God who was able to reach out to others in need.

That said, ‘come, take a hand’ and ‘we will find our way together.’


Now that I am older, having believed in many Gods and no Gods at all; having prayed for many things, and worshipped at many alters, I have discovered that hope and courage and love are never found in bottled beliefs.  Not in pre-fabricated platitudes.  But in the messiness of a struggle shared among people who’ve crawled up out of the muck.  And who are willing to go in again for something worthwhile.  Something in themselves that never stops being born.  Something in others that says again and again: ‘Come, take a hand’ and ‘we will find our way together.’