Someone who I respect very much shared the podcast on The Liturgists Listening to these podcasts have given me the sense that I have come home and I can finally be totally comfortable in my skin and in my beliefs. I feel so inspired that I have decided to write a poem, something I have not done in years. Even then so, poems were rare. But listening to a poet and a songwriter on their latest podcast gave me permission (as if I needed it!) to paint a word picture of how I feel about getting to know Science Mike Michael Gungor and their friends and family. I will be sending this to them, and I hope they like it. I did very little editing…but if someone wants to work on this, I welcome any input.
When I first was told by my friend that he was listening to the Liturgists,
My first thought was, “who, what–that’s ridiculous.
What a funny name–how could they have anything to say
that could give me more knowledge than I already contain
(I’m being vulnerable now…I’m not always so proud
But at times I can be so self-righteous–but at least I’m aware)
I mean, I respect you my friend, and I want to honor your taste,
And I love you as well, so I am willing to give these guys a chance.
So when I first listened, I worried a bit.
“Where is my friend going with this?”
Is he going off the deep end—maybe losing his faith
But the verdict was not in yet. I merely learned their views on sin.
Some words resonated with me, but I still wondered if I was in
But then I listened to Michael and a musician who told their stories of faith
I was sure Michael was still an agnostic, the way that he rolled.
When I told my friend, “I’m not sure about these guys,”
“Are you sure you want to keep going with them? Are you being wise?”
“Just listen to their stories where they tell the tall tales
Of things that actually happened—you’ll get past the veil.”
Well I loved my friend, and I wanted to honor him,
So I took a deep breath, and tuned in to Lost and Found #6 and #7
I cleaned my room thoroughly—their podcasts are all long
But I couldn’t stop listening, it was like hearing a new song
When I heard Mike’s story of how he was raised in the church
Then became an atheist I got nervous
Where is this going—is he an atheist evangelist,
Trying to persuade me that God doesn’t exist?
But then I kept listening, and the doors started opening
Into places in my mind and heart that had been shut for a while
Something within me jumped for joy
And I wanted to cry
This story of Mike, and how he actually inspired Michael to come back
To a faith that was lost, but really needed some tweaking,
That now he could create these Axioms about Faith
That could create common ground with my friends who were skeptics.
I know this poem is losing ground, it’s losing its pace,
But I’m not really a poet, so it’s not my place to be perfect.
But I’m just giving my best shot
To try to paint a picture of how I feel
Kind of like when I see images of Yosemite—so beautiful and real
Reminding me of my first awakening there overlooking the valley
when agnostic that I was
Heard God telling me to travel- to get out of the fuzz
Of materialistic living, and pleasure seeking style
I was dying. I needed life and God helped me all the while.
The 13 month trip at age 19, turned my life around as I saw all the suffering
In India, Afganhistan, Pakistan and elsewhere
I become a serious seeker, and finally found Jesus…but it was a long hike.
I keep listening to the podcasts. I want to respond.
By writing at least one or two blog posts for each time they come on.
I have so much to share. I want to tell them “I’m here”
But I haven’t yet put my toe in the water. It’s not out of fear
Or is it—am I afraid? Of rejection, or being ignored—
After all, they are getting so popular and busy
Besides, I’m an elder—maybe one of the few
Who just love their millennial coolness—I mean their words are so true
It doesn’t matter because I believe
That they would talk me, if I saw them on the street.
Or at the Belonging conference.
I’m glad that they are busy and people want to talk to them
It shows that more people are resonating with their message.
I believe they are fearless leaders and teachers and friends
But they don’t want power over or money from—they just want to love.
They are simply holding up the sign, “It’s safe—you belong-
Come join us—join each other—let’s sing along!”
A song that brings unity without uniformity
With harmonies and rhythms and dancing as well
With words that resonate in our hearts and our brains
And maybe, just maybe, we can together proclaim,
The kingdom of God is here and now
Whenever we gather together in love, understanding, and bow
To the One who loves us so much that he keeps
Using every means—including Mike and Michael
And you and me,
So we can follow our Jesus, in peace, joy and justice.
And we can really be free.