Do you know what an altar call is?
Back then, I’d pray to accept Jesus
into my heart every time, because
what if the last time didn’t take?
Faith is operative in every human being
I want to have my mother’s faith. She’s one
of those weird mountain people, you see.
She holds snakes on Sundays
and once had to explain to an NPR reporter
the mechanics of why when one bites you
that means there’s something wrong.
Tell me, what does “do” mean?
If you try to bring something, you get nothing.
If you bring nothing, you get everything.
Behold, the calculus of the gospel!
Where am I supposed to go with that?
My plane crashed and I couldn’t see
out the window because of the flames My friend
the other pilot he was next to me and burning
The control panel was dripping here onto my thighs
I didn’t think I was going to die I thought
he was dead and that I was dead I prayed
the Lord’s Prayer and then the door opened
and I was pulled from the burning
You ever hear of something called a controlled burn? When the fire
rages and finds an already scorched earth, you are saved
I think: If I write Bible verses on index cards
and tape them to my bathroom mirror, things will change.
But nothing will change you, only the deposit
of an energy in your heart, the mechanism
from which all change stems
So what does God want? Does he want me to change
or does he just want me to want to change?
You are becoming wood and stone
I am so tired I can’t lay down. Why is God hiding?
the mechanism within each of us
called the human heart is from which
everything in life extends It locks
onto things you find beautiful and says Feed me.
Your roommate tells you she’s been raped.
You are simply bodily present.
You begin to meet little needs. You wonder
about the ways you could become glue. Listening
is something we can always do better on This is not
just about your individual heart This is about institutions
and oppression The nature of faith an empty hand
is such that it binds you to things.
You know how the Earth is spinning all the time?
I don’t understand the calculus of it, I don’t
even think of it, but that doesn’t stop it from happening.
I don’t have to spend each moment rejoicing
that physics is the way it is.
You don’t believe right Why do you worry
about believing right? Even faith is gift.
Even my repentance needs repenting of.
You’re an unproductive vine, but faith
is the vehicle of salvation, not the reason for
It is what our hearts are reaching towards
Lily George is a sophomore concentrating in computer science and literary arts.