Here is another poem by our great friend Karen Bowlby.

“I believe in God.

Not just any God –
Not that anything goes,
Spiritual but not religious,
Politically correct,
Don’t want to offend anyone
Anything but the God you think of when I say God –

You know – the one that hates abortion,
Fags, and anyone different

No – I believe in that God
The God
The one who did the whole Jesus-thing,
The one that beget all the Bible-beaters, and Republicans
That God, that’s the one.

And perhaps that doesn’t strike you as odd.

After all, you –
All of you
Every single one of you looking me in the eyes right now
Just judged me
Sized me up –
Little white girl, privileged,
Easy for her to stand there,
Say she believes in that God

Hell, people like her created that God,
Created Him to keep other people in their place,
She’s one of them, that makes sense

And it would make sense
It did make sense – for about 28 years
And then it stopped making sense
Right about the same day I came out

Caught the gay
The homo-sexuality
Years in the making, but nothing unusual there
Just another dyke with a story

I still believe in God
Yeah – in that God,

And that makes my life uneasy,
And I try to find ways to ease that dissonance

I lie
I hide
And I reason that everyone lies and hides to a degree anyway

But then I hear God
Feel him walking through the garden in the cool of the evening
And I feel Him see me
Sense His eyes piercing through me into my soul –
The one thing I can’t find on my own,
And it’s probably a good thing that I can’t, cause I’d hide that, too,
And I shift in my hiding place
Awaiting a verdict I’ve spent my whole life preparing for

And then I feel him open his mouth
Take a deep breath
I brace for impact and hear
“It is good”

Stunned, speechless,
These are the moments I look around
Thinking He must have made a mistake
Perhaps He doesn’t see so well these days

He is, after all,
Millenniums old,
And I am, after all,
A lesbian

And so these are also the moments I protest
I point out what everyone else seems to know
Everyone but Him
And He speaks again
“You are good”

And I laugh
I argue
I quote those verses – His words, not mine
Sodom and Gomorrah
But He doesn’t respond
And I always, always think –

I’ve won.
Here in the garden, in my nakedness,
I have argued with the Creator of the Universe
And I have won
And He laughs
He hears my thoughts
And He moves towards me,
Arms outstretched
And I protest

I protest –
He is God – and I am… nothing.

And He speaks
“You are good”
And I question if He forgot that I come from

These are the moments I look down
I can not meet His eyes,
But I can feel His touch
Everywhere in my nakedness – but no longer naked

And I wonder what it means about
Who I thought He was
And who He is
And if He also gets tired of
The labels
The words
The actions
The hate
We ascribe as His.”

Much love.

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  • Dena

    Wow! That is so impactful. Thanks so much for sharing, Karen. I love it! God loves all of us, knit us together, and says His creation is “good” – all of it! You’re an amazing poet. Thanks for sharing yourself, and expressing yourself so eloquently! And thanks Andrew for posting on your site!

  • Deb Wenninger

    Well said, Karen! Thanks for sharing! I’m glad you didn’t lose God in the process. I didn’t either…

  • Mrs. D in Oregon

    absolutely wonderful! so glad you took time to listen to God speak to you…

  • Love it! You’ve got it right!

  • Good stuff Karen. I especially loved the end when it got intimate, just you & God in the garden, “You are good”, him laughing, you restored. That’s the God I know too. Bravo!