Faithful Daughter

Hey Readers.

My good friend Johnny Cypher has certainly selected a topical subject for this month’s Extra Second which takes place at The Blue Chair on the third Thursday each month. The topic of choice is religion and this is my poem which has been specifically written for this event. I have given it the title Faithful Daughter I hope you enjoy the read.

Faithful Daughter

I am one of the faithful
on a Sunday morning
you will find me in the pews
listening to the good news of the Bible
Presbyterian I may be but I am not wee free
I do faith without intolerance
am Protestant but not orange
I am loyal and true not to the red white and blue
but only to those I call family
biological or not this Scot says
they are the ones who matter
I won’t be bought
by the puritanical patter merchants
who preach fear of those they don’t understand
their attitudes are against the commandments
as I relate to them in scripture
I can’t stand bitterness
and knowledge of other faiths
was learnt early
as my mum and dad came from different branches of the Christian tree
my mum mission hall kirk
my dad RC from Irish ancestry
I loathe bigotry that’s why it was important to say
I am Protestant but not Orange
I cringe in the marching season
preferring to look in the other
direction
I feel a tension when they march
that I don’t have on other days
but I refuse to engage
to rant or rage
I have discovered a better way
I pray rather than shouting at others
I am more like my mother than I thought
sometimes I feel my church constrains me
from saying what I think
though I have to confess
this isn’t always a bad thing
I know what I can be like
but belief is nothing without compassion
I hope my faith comes from a good place
If some people think it strange
a trans woman attends church
I remind them I belong to a reformed tradition
which has to keep reforming
or face oblivion
within a generation
you can’t speak for a nation
if you don’t represent it
resting on laurels of contentment
is not the Christian way
when we have something to say
It should be said in faith and with power
my personal faith is based on
a vision for a better society
not on the pompous sobriety
of those Burns called Holy Willie’s
or the red white and blue of Rangers and the union
so loved by those this Celtic supporting yes girl
would call the less enlightened
I am not frightened to ask the question
what would Jesus would do
who would he accept in to his family
how would he treat those with alternative gender identities, non conforming sexualities,
disabilities,  different ethnicities from the dominant population
I believe he would view them with more kindness
than many who speak in his name
and refuse to the take the blame
for their hurtful behaviour
rebuking them not with malice
but with sadness
and prayers for their souls
faith should not be seen
as a crutch for the old
it must be a force for change
a living breathing mission
for a better world
and that’s why this woman
who was born to be but wasn’t raised a girl
is now a faithful daughter of the church

image

@ Gayle Smith 2016

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2 thoughts on “Faithful Daughter

    • Hey Peter Sorry I’ve taken so reply to this brilliant comment I really appreciate it. I think it may be one of the best poems I’ve ever written and it’s certainly in among my favourite pieces to perform. I don’t think there is any doubt it comes from the heart and is written from a place of passion , but the fact that I’m replying to your feedback as Glasgow gets back to normal after the orange walk may be not entirely coincidental. To me this day represents everything I loathe about that the we are the elect brigade and it’s a timely reminder to the Kirk of the stereotype we need to break away from. To me, there are still too many who believe that the Church of Scotland represents the Conservative establishment and its attenders are all Orange , Tory, Unionists. The fact is we’re not all like that and the sooner the membership face up to that the better it will be for us all. In the 21st Century the kirk faces a very hard choice and I know that some of them would sooner that wasn’t the case but it is and it’s very survival depends on it. The choice is modernise or die.

      Best Wishes
      Gayle X

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