Hallowed Be Thy Shame

Our Father, 

who art in heaven

(while we, your children,

tread in duress),

hallowed be Thy name.

(At least something should be hallowed

in the whole of this ugly mess.)

Thy Kingdom come

(for ours burns

from world wars and endless hatred),

Thy will be done…

…or at least hotly debated.

On earth as it is in heaven,

we draw lines in the sand

and leaven:

We leaven our bread.

We baptize our dread.

But it’s not enough.

We need seven

more Marys and

twenty more Gods.

We need a hundred more Messiahs

to raise us from sod.

So give us this day our daily bread,

or at least give us meds

since You fucked with our heads.

And forgive us our trespasses

for no one else will:

we ate every apple

but we’re hungry still.

Like Eve and Adam,

we are starved for love.

But You hid us in fig leaves,

clipped our wings to stubs.

As we forgive those

who trespass against us,

will You forgive us, too?

Or continue to resent us

for using free will

You freely gave us?

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil:

the evil of saints,

the evil in church,

evil You watch wordlessly

from behind stained glass steeples.

For shame.

For shame.

Hallowed be Thy shame.

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be Thy shame.

Published by R.L. Stollar

R.L. Stollar is a child liberation theologian and an advocate for children and abuse survivors. The author of an upcoming book on child liberation theology, The Kingdom of Children, Ryan has an M.H.S. in Child Protection from Nova Southeastern University and an M.A. in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College.

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