This poem was written by Spirit Garage community participant Rick Carlson. I knew that he was a poet, so I asked him if he’d be willing to write a poem for All Saints’ Day. He read it last Sunday in church, and I asked if it was okay to publish it on the blog, so here it is. Be sure you ask him about his other poetry!
“All Saints’ Day”
our pastor posed the question, like a Zen riddle:
          if Jesus stood before you
     asking, “what do you want me to do for you?”
          what would be your answer?
through days of prayer and fasting, grappling with this inquiry
          it dawned on me, obvious in hindsight…
ah, but let me digress:
in Catholicism a saint is one who’s been canonized
     elevated above the rest, deemed worthy of special status
yet in New Testament reality
          the communion of saints is the body of believers
     the Mystical Body of Christ, miraculously renewed
what, then, is my request of Jesus?
simply put, sainthood, the real deal,
     deliverance from self-preoccupation,
     self-deception, every pretense and intellectual conceit,
          lack of faith, casual indifference and denial,
     fear, confusion, egoic blindness,
in short, an end to The Story of Rick
as our apostle-brother Paul wrote,
          “not I, but Christ lives in me”   *
or as the Sufis say, die before you die
only to be joyously reborn
          through the power of Divine Love
     a Spirit of Love who changes everything,
          who brings healing and restoration
my prayer is the very same plea
          for all of us in this room
     for everyone in the freeze-dried, anemic churches
     for each of us on this dying yet still-beautiful planet
and so, as they used to say each Sunday
     in the Pentecostal tabernacle of my younger days,
          “good morning, saints!”
* Gal. 2:20
-Rick Carlson