1 John 4:8 (An Open Letter to IVCF/Formerly SCF)

Content Warning: Mention of violence

i. my God finds me

in the wilds. my God speaks

to me from the churning earth

and the gaping sky and She whispers

love. makes a home with me

among the cast-out. wraps herself

around my wrists and kisses forgiveness.

She tells me the story of Her firstborn

that She has sent to teach us,

and this time the story doesn’t hurt,

this time I listen when She says my child.

ii. I have heard the thrashing from the temple.

I have watched as She wept for Her lost sheep.

watched as She cast the hypocrites

into the outer darkness. watched the Romans

and the Pharisees string up my sisters in Her name.

we are Her children, too.

we are Her children. She called me beloved

when She welcomed me. She called me blessed

and said that I would be first. that my sisters and I

would be brought out of the low places.

the kingdom of God is our kingdom.

iii. you who wield Her name as a sword.

you who strike down the least-of-these

in your “righteousness.” do you know Her?

do you know that She died begging us to be kind?

do you know her as I have known her, the one

who comforts the afflicted and the oppressed?

you who would cast me out of the assembly

for my “unnatural longings.” you who would

pass by when I am bloodied out of fear

of soiling your cloak. your pockets are filled with blood-silver

that will be moth-eaten and ash in the kingdom of God.

I am wanted by Her. I am welcomed by Her.

She commanded me to love and I have done so,

and for it She has given me life.

what have you earned? what fruits do you bear?

I ask only this before I part with you onto the narrow path:

have you loved as She has commanded?