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"we hadn't a story"


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This could be one reason why Christianity, as lifeless as it is, just keeps hanging around. See below- "... and we hadn't a story nearly as good."

 

from At the Smithville Methodist Church by Stephen Dunn:

 

...But when she came home

singing "Jesus loves me,

the Bible tells me so," it was time to talk.

Could we say Jesus

 

doesn't love you? Could I tell her the Bible

is a great book certain people use

to make you feel bad? We sent her back

without a word.

 

It had been so long since we believed, so long

since we needed Jesus

as our nemesis and friend, that we thought he was

sufficiently dead,

 

that our children would think of him like Lincoln

or Thomas Jefferson.

Soon it became clear to us: you can't teach disbelief

to a child,

 

only wonderful stories, and we hadn't a story

nearly as good.

On parents' night there were the Arts and Crafts

all spread out

 

like appetizers. Then we took our seats

in the church

and the children sang a song about the Ark,

and Hallelujah

 

and one in which they had to jump up and down

for Jesus,

I can't remember ever feeling so uncertain

about what's comic, what's serious.

 

Evolution is magical but devoid of heroes.

You can't say to your child

"Evolution loves you." The story stinks

of extinction and nothing

 

exciting happens for centuries. I didn't have

a wonderful story for my child

and she was beaming. All the way home in the car

she sang the songs,

 

occasionally standing up for Jesus.

There was nothing to do

but drive, ride it out, sing along

in silence.

 

 

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