Saturday, March 22, 2008

Afterthoughts on the Alter

by Holly Pritchett

I am not at all like my Jesus.

My worship has been convenient, slight.
Ephemeral and immaterial--a good girl with a limited glory.

No--my Jesus is GLORY.
He stands at the threshold of time ushering it away--He will come. A sweeping return and the storms will cower at His majesty.
Beautiful and terrible to behold.

No--I am not at all like that.
Hiding under the bed, crying at the storm, my distrust weakens my vision and I no longer see that I was fashioned thunder, lightening, and rain.
Glorious, my Jesus WAS and IS and IS TO COME.
The very voice of God calling to one still deciding on her voice.

There are roads and maps and signs and I am too stupid to find the way.

No--I am not like my Jesus.
Opening doors, tipping well, hoping for greatness, yet my deeds condense into a small box labeled self.
Having never really died nor lived.
Lukewarm is the venomous adjective best describing my treachery.
My Jesus went to the people fixed on ripping and shattering and butchering His body and encouraged them “take, eat.”
I just take.
Ravenous, there is good I will not do, but none I will not take.

No--my Jesus loves widely, wildly with hands stained by dirt, tears, blood, and hope.
If I were like my Jesus, I would cup the widow’s head in my hands and say--”tell me your story. Let my heart break with yours.”
And I would find the one every time and forget the rich, easy beauty of the ninety-nine.
My Jesus sees.
And He sees me.
I stand beloved despite my infidelity and adultery. He winks at me with stars and creates for me new colors.
My selfish hands meagerly offer leftovers and litter. Afterthoughts at the altar.
Flesh and divinity, I am too soon the harlot and too much ice to embrace either.

No--I am not like Jesus.
But He loves me.

He calls this vagabond, princess.
His beloved, baby girl, daughter.
He loves me unfairly, extravagantly.
He sees more in me than my mirror-enslaved eyes can fathom.
He leads me to still waters even as I chase the waterfall.

I am not like my Jesus.
My words do not drip life.
My fragrance does not heal.
My touch is more sandpaper than velvet.
I am so marred.
He is so clean.

But I have been bought at a great price and my limitedness is redeemed.
He is, so I can be.
All my wretchedness enveloped in a new inexplicable beauty.


  1. absolutely beautiful and OH so true.

    I am broken by reading that.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. amy k5:39 AM

    Beautiful and convicting. Thanks for sharing, Cathy. Reminds me of, "Amazing love, how can it be, that You, my King, would die for me?" Sang that song yesterday at church...hit my heart afresh. Pray that you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday. He is risen!

  3. Beautiful, Cath! Absolutely beatiful!! Tears in eyes, beautiful.

  4. Lorraine11:29 AM

    Yes. Simply, Yes. Yes. Yes.

  5. WOW !
    Beautiful Cathy
    Thank you


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