I wish I had known


I wish I had known.

A poem’s preamble:

 

I wonder if the women becoming bishops and

Politicians are not simply

Climbing the ladder of

Patriarchy by becoming Patriarchs?

 

I wonder if the cowardly leadership

Of a dominating Patriarch is taking

Rather longer to die that we originally

Thought.

 

Sam was ordained last week.

 

He attended my ordination as a teenager, 20 years ago.

I entered that process at the same age Jesus

reportedly was,

when He was tortured and died.

 

“I wish I had known”- a poem of loss and light

Charles LaFond, Poet.

 

I wish I had known.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known

How beautiful it was to be

A minister.

The people who trust one with

Their darkest secrets.

The music that soars as on eagle’s wings.

The serenity some have as they leave

on Sundays – heading to their cars

with slightly more hope,

more courage, more questions.

I wish I had known how beautiful it was.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known how evil it was.

I wish I had known about the clergy

Competition, the egos

(including mine)

swollen like boils, leaking, staining

Unseen beneath copes.

Under Mitres.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known how dangerous it is

To hold bishops accountable.

The tools they have to pounce,

To destroy,

To lawyer-up and attack.

 

I wish I had known

how many wonderful clergy

and even some bishops, there remain;

The ones who are honest.

The ones who are kind.

The ones who are faithful

to caring for congregations

Rather than cultivating retirement packages

By climbing, climbing, climbing

Into rich churches and

Moted thrones.

Silent golden parachutes,

Smelted from golden pectoral crosses.

Amethysts floating, skimmed off the top

Like closed oysters.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known

How God

Would use my study for my conversion.

I wish I had known how little the scriptures

Would take part.

And how much the walks on beaches would.

And the dogs.

 

I wish I had known

I wish I had known

How dangerous it was to write about a bishop.

I wish I had known how liberating the

Violent responses would be.

That I would, in the end, be poor, but free.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known how dangerous

It was to wear a clergy shirt.

To be so arrogant as to

Try to wear spiritual posturing.

And I wish I had known how

Easy it is to weaponize an amethyst.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known

So that I could warn Sam in time.

 

I wish I had known so that

I might have been content

To be a good agnostic

Rather than a bad Christian.

Rich.

Retired by now.

But unrefined by the crucibles

 

I wish I had known,

Also,

That to be a priest today

Means that one may

Host the annihilation

Of patriarchy.

That the good clergy can still do good

By ripping the Church down

to its second century foundations.

Of peace.

Of love.

Of humility.

 

I wish I had known.

I wish I had known

That the Margaret Thatcher Syndrome

Would delay good leadership

Just when we though women

In power might change things.

And some good ones do.

I wish I had known that many

Are really, so often, just more climbers.

 

And I am glad to know,

Today,

That some Bishops and some clergy,

Like Sam,

Can make a difference.

Can dismantle the Church’s cathedrals

And build shelters

For the poor.

For the homeless.

For the destitute.

 

I wish, in the end,

That I had known

How important was the difference between

Saint Augustine,

And Saint Clare!

 

Yes. Indeed.

That I wish I had known.

 

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