Jesus Loves Me This I Know

Pewter crosses hang from pale throats

Swallowing nervously to avoid conversation with those less fortunate, more sincere in their faith.

Frantically praying to get it over with. Blessed or not, the show must go on.

Let the little ones come to me, as long as the little ones have combed their hair and portray their Sunday Best Behavior, Dammit.

Don’t you know God loved the world so much he gave his only Son for those who organize the weekly prayer circles?

For those who idolize missionaries while swearing they could never leave their suburban utopia behind?

Jesus loves me this I know, for I invited her to Fish Friday when no one else would, Karen.

I tithed an extra 5% more this week, Jenny.

I prayed an extra minute for those poor missionaries, Shelby.

Well I finally bought a cross bumper sticker for my Subaru. I’m just as brave as them, Mary.

Consider that none of this is real.

Consider that what they say is not what believing is about.

To love unconditionally, to give impossibly, to sacrifice eternally.

Grace doesn’t come for those with pewter crosses and painted bible verses.

Love doesn’t come for those dragging children with hardened hearts to extracurricular evangelical activities.

Jesus didn’t die for your bumper sticker, Mary, he died for those poor missionaries Jenny prayed an extra minute for.

He died for the real, the sincere, the willing, and the unclean.

He died for the ones you ignore, uninvite, and ostracize like lepers in the Old Testament.

When he comes back you will understand this, understand that stainless steel jewelry and recited prayers were not the guaranteed savior.

He came for us all, but you missed that when you focused on footnotes and hyper-translations.

He loves us all, but you are waiting for the conditional and the exceptions.

He is here, but not, for once, with you.

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