in my own image

I collect religious objects. I hunt
thrift shops, scout curbs, scavenge back
alleys.
At this common alter I offer pencil shavings
in an urn half full of unknown
ashes.
Lead and fingernails track
the prayer rug, constitute my
sacraments.
A few of the trinkets are precious, a couple
rare, but all are
broken.
My traveling communion kit’s blood bottle is
missing.
There is a natty stain on the felt from the
letting.
The missing pieces render my collection
worthless.

Still, these imperfections summon in my sleep
and from their absent places
preach,
their message creaks beneath
the footsteps of my
faith.

Chicago Il. April 9th 2013 Napowrimo day 9

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

Hour of Power

I can see myself as a child of four, kneeling before the glow of a large, faux cherrywood, console television. My hands are held before me in prayer and I have tears running down my cheeks, I am alone in the room. I remember being drawn to that spot, into that position, by an ardent baritone.

I can see the others who joined me that night in accepting Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior, filing down the aisles of an enormous sanctuary. I can feel the electric sensation I had, a sensation I believed was the Holy Spirit entering my body. My memory transports me to that place on the floor, where I felt united with hundreds of supplicants, as Billy Graham’s tender assurances washed over us. I was saved. I was forgiven. I was a child of God, and I would always be.

The image of my child self, rapt in front of a television, and the knowledge that this was the first significant spiritual moment of my life, is bizarre and sentimental to me as an adult. Even more curious is the anxiety I developed over the household debate about the validity of the once saved always saved doctrine. Continue reading