Monthly Archives: February 2014

When Someone Else Says It Better…


Because sometimes I find myself here…

The Skeptic Goes To Sunday School – Joshua Bennett.
One.
The first time I imagined
what being in hell would feel like
I was six years old.
In an attempt to scold me for my disobedience at home
my aunt quotes the book of Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 12.
Honor thy father and mother, so that thy days may be long, in the land.
She says it as a threat.
An attempt to curb my habit of letting the tongue run wild.
Lest it lead me right to death’s door.
It wasn’t the words themselves.
But the ashes in her teeth when she said them.
How the scripture wrapped itself like a blanket of knives
around my tiny body.
I was so small then.
Barely a coffee stain on the backseat of my mother’s Toyota Camry.
She drives a silver Volvo now.
It looks like one of God’s nickels gone missing.
I sometimes feel the same way.
As if something wonderful in me
has evacuated its throne.
Two.
I’ve wanted to be a pastor ever since I was in kindergarten.
Would run up and down the stairs of my home
preaching sermons that I had made up on the spot.
I’d be lying,
if I could tell you that I remember exactly what I preached about back then.
But what I do recall,
is the electricity in my parent’s faces.
How they hung their hopes on every single word.
The world’s smallest congregation
gathered in our family dining room to hear their son
expound upon the nature of joy.
Using words like faith and super-strength interchangeably.
Three.
I spend most nights failing to pray
that that boy is not dead yet.
That there is still something my mother would still call holy about these hands.
Though I have come to trust them
So much more than the words that used to shepherd my steps.
The scripture
that would flow like a news ticker across my mind’s eye.
Sometimes, it feels like i’m in a battle royale
with a room full of younger, more devout Joshuas
and it’s not that I don’t have the will to win,
but that my eyes are too full of tears to see where i’m swinging.
Four.
The day before what would have been my first sermon
I wrote a one page email to the pastor of my church,
saying that I would not be showing up.
Saying, I’m sorry for sending this so late.
But I cannot proclaim what I no longer know to be true.
I have forgotten the shape of my Lord’s face.
Five.
The hardest part about starting graduate school is not the work.
It was the realisation that my faith had made me into some sort of zoo exhibit.
The day one of my white male colleagues saw a pocket-sized bible in my backpack
and laughed in my face.
The Ten Commandment jokes
thrown like flawless javelins across the room
hitting no one but me.
I remember
calling my friend Ashon in tears
how everything changed,
when he told me,
They will always try something
but do not let them send you home.
They have not earned that right.
Six.
Two months ago
My three year old nephew looks in the sky
and asks
How come when I pray
God doesn’t speak back?
I wanted to say,
of course He does Miles
just look at your mother’s face.
Gaze into her frozen lake eyes
and lose yourself in all that glow.
Nephew,
There is so much that we simply do not know.
So much beauty to be found
in the depths of an honest question.
Seven.
I am done with running.
Finished with feeding the feeling that my parents’ religion
is an electric fence with everlasting arms
that there was only one way to live
to love
to see
what is invisible to the eye
but readily apparent to the voice inside
my grandmother’s prayers
are a suit of armour
that I will wear
until the day that these bones break free.
I just want my life to be a light.
a megaphone
blaring Agha Shahid Ali
Prisons
open your gates
a refugee from belief seeks a cell tonight.
These are not poems anymore
This is me
trying to build a diorama of heaven for the people I love
May all fear be expelled tonight.

Because I do not always get it. Because I do not always see it. Because sometimes I want to understand what I ought only to trust. Because trapped within the multicoloured layers of self-doubt is a woman yearning to keep up with the journey; not to become, but to grasp the concept of being, and along the way enjoy “carefully curated pieces of happiness”. Because we are not always broken.
May all fear be expelled tonight…

Love & Light,
Kov!

Off The Playlist – Glorious Ruins


Glorious Ruins is one of my favourite songs from the Hillsong 2013 album of the same name. The first time I heard this song, it shook me to my core.
There is nothing/no one too ruined that God cannot transform. I know we hear things like this all the time but let it really sink in. What area of your life do you think is beyond repair? How damaged do you feel? Think about it. I’m not talking about the mess that you feel you can wipe away with a little prayer and a few drops of the blood. I mean the secrets that you’ve buried in the deepest, darkest recesses of your heart. That part you don’t remember until you’re lying alone in the dark. That story that no one else knows. The hurt that you feel even God cannot understand. Yeah, that one. From that lowest of the low where you’ve sunk to, allow God reach you right there. He sees, He knows. He wants to bring beauty out of those very same ashes. He wants to make the ruins glorious. He wants to show forth His glory through those scars. He wants you to experience His love right there in the filth, so you too can sing, “I will love You forever…”

When the mountains fall
And the tempest roars You are with me
When creation folds
Still my soul will soar on Your mercy

I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I’ll sing

When the world caves in
Still my hope will cling to Your promise
Where my courage ends
Let my heart find strength in Your presence

I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I’ll sing

I really didn’t plan to post anything today but this song came up on my playlist as I was praying this morning, and I had the same experience like I did the first time I heard it. It can never get too dark for God’s light to shine through. He’s right here, even in the ruins. And He makes all things beautiful… Rising from the ashes… Glorious!