A Psalm for when we cannot go to Church

Bridie Boyd

Lord, I cannot enter your temple. 

I cannot stand in its shelter, the walls reassuring around me. 
I cannot feel the coloured sun on my face as it shines through your stained glass windows. 
I cannot shake hands with those around me, I cannot make peace.
I cannot eat from your table, nor drink from your cup. 
I cannot feel my spirits lift simply because I stand in your threshold.
An insidious, invisible evil prowls around the gates. 
I see it like a great shadow, spreading out its tentacles, the enemy’s suckers grazing the lips of my loved ones, their eyes, their nose.
I cannot go out, else I risk the breath you yourself gave me long ago in a wondrous garden. 
I see darkness’ success in the laboured breathing of others
I watch it as it creeps from hand to hand, tainting comforting touch. 
No more can we comfort as we used to do. 
The fear of this evil is as bad as its effects. 
All our actions seem futile. We hoard your abundance. We take for ourselves. 
We prepare to defy such a darkness by bursting into your home, eager to cross the threshold and be once again in your sacred space. 
But Lord, I know it is not about me. 
I know running headlong back to the place we built to worship is now akin to sin.
I know it helps the work of the enemy, endangering all I hold dear.
I know, despite the barring of your doors, it is not because you shun me.
You are here, watching the spread unfold with me. 
Your light keeps fears pushed back to the corners.  
I know your presence, feel your spirit. 
You can teach us how to comfort when cannot hold, cannot rock each other in grief.
You teach us our temple is always in you.

And that shall be our defiance.


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