THE PEARL THAT IS YOU (for Ruth)

When you tithe, you might buy a few more bricks for a new church annex,
But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy God
Through this kind of material agency.

And, even though thousands of people regularly assemble at a specific place of worship –
God will more commonly be found, waiting alone, out in the parking lot.

In truth, God resists being organized
By a committee, a denomination, or even a religious empire,
Nor can God be systematized by logic or complex mathematical equations –
In fact, it’s simply not possible to preserve a spiritually deteriorating civilization
By transforming a standard-issue, everyday God into a shibboleth
To be held in people’s mouths like a piece of butterscotch candy.

Even if we stand out in the street – shouting –
“Open, Jesus, Open”–
God will refuse to open
Because God doesn’t respond to “holy” passwords.

Usually, God is most likely to be found when we’re not really looking –
And, frequently, is discovered in the most surprising places.

The human heart has enough room for a miniature sky – sprinkled with surprises –
But the best one – by far – the one you’ve always hoped for –

Will arrive first thing in the morning
When, half-asleep, your hand reaches under your pillow –
And, there it is –
The pearl you’ve traded your entire life for –

The pearl that is you.

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