The sun is raised, set against blue.
We drive down the hill, into town.
The sun is still raised, on this bright day.
We drive on. Through the estate, the clouds now begin to cling –
Closing around the sun,
Parked outside, inside we head.
Low hanging ceiling, close walls – gloomy.
Rows of people on rows of chairs,
Music quiet; murmurs of conversation, traces of smiles.
“The son is raised!” announces the preacher.
Murmurs and traces now rise to fervour and praises.
Clapping shouting dancing; their joy loudly present.
This eruption of faith forgets the weight of life
Loaded onto our bent backs.
The shadow of out there flees at this mess of noise
The shadow of out there withers and withdraws
The shadow of out there is just…a shadow, out there.
I am detached from this spectacle by scepticism;
Shakily holding to a fear of nothing, fear of the empty.
I fear their faith just as strongly.
What if, what if, what if- this drowns, dauntingly, all admission.
Suddenly and solemnly a sad, pale man rises.
His eyes shot, body gaunt, stubble like teeth.
Blue unbuttoned shirt, un-ironed jeans.
The lines on his face speak sombrely – stains of stories.
Silence descends, eyes fix on the front.
He meekly leans on the lectern, one deep breath;
We are plunged then, communally sat in this community hall,
With a low ceiling and close walls, plunged into honesty.
The tall man spoke softly – his a story of regression.
6 years dry; broken the day before.
I now fear this force of honesty.
His plea was forgiveness, the response was as fierce as the sun on a frosted morning:
Warmth of hugs and tears – thawing his cold set figure.
God or no, risen or not, belief or unbelief –
These seem to silently fade, the close walls withdraw, the ceiling raised.
If the son wasn’t raised, this man still shared his struggle.
That is something, even if there is nothing.
And now, outside, the sun is raised – set against blue.