Jo Ann Alo

writer – rhymer – Jesus junky

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Sunday. It hasn’t been so holy. When I was a kid it was the day of obligation. When I birthed my own it was an hour of responsible parenting. Ick.

Now…it’s just another day of blessed holiness. The sun breaks through my window and my eyes can barely stand the light. I can’t bring myself to lower the blinds—it’s been so long in the dark. My cup is filled with warm tea and milk, and I’m holding in happy tears because it’s never tasted so good. I open the book and hear, Behold the Lamb of God! My cup overflows. A hot shower cascades over my body and I’ve never been cleaner. Grave news comes across the phone and no one has ever held me this close.

I walk through the doors of Sunday service and the rub of ritualistic repetitiveness greets me at the door. My heart goes stiff and I don’t want to shake your hand. Music opens and my mouth shuts. In my head I stand toe to toe with religion: Don’t pretend you care about me. I sat through all your pomp and you made it impossible to meet God. He found me just fine without any help from you. The lady in front of me caresses her little girl’s hair and it makes me want to cry. The woman I just met last week sits a seat away and maybe we’ll be friends. The pastor talks about suffering for the gospel and maybe that’s me this morning. I want to heal. I don’t want to be a sore spot on the body of Christ. A familiar face smiles softly at the exit. It’s Vickie. She once babysat my oldest daughter eons ago. We are practically strangers and yet we instantly link like sisters. See you next week, I say, and I’m glad I came.

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