She was lost in a universe of ideals that measured worth –
Crushed by standards that never yield their promised fruit;
Instead they beat this battered girl
Till her heart was broken beyond her mending;
She gave her all to worthless, runaway dreams
She fought a battle she’d never win –
Took the weight, and it made her fall;
She thought it all depended on her.
You know, the good girl: selfless, modest, don’t swear
Slowly it sucked her hope away –
Tortured soul, she didn’t weigh the cost;
But You say the cost doesn’t matter anymore,
That her shame has been written out –
Well if that’s true, then religion is a lie.
Every plot has the very same ending,
And we forget that it’s all a fragile fantasy
The building blocks of sky-high franchises,
So high up they forget what’s really down here
They can’t satisfy the heart’s violent cry
Or comfort that shattered girl,
Who stares in the mirror, loathing.
She thinks she’s gone too far this time,
But You take her wounded heart
In blood-stained hands never more beautiful
And tell her not to be afraid,
Tell her that Your heart’s been broken too
And yet, despite exhausting rejection, every day
Your love never drains away.
But what about the list of rules?
They’re supposed to guarantee righteousness
Wait, aren’t they?
What if the check boxes are meaningless – just empty promises?
But if that is true,
Then religion is a lie.
In her blindness, the girl sees grace as only bitterness
And answers back in contemptuous distrust:
You couldn’t possibly take me, she cries.
This must be some kind of cruel joke,
I don’t belong behind white church walls,
My dirty fingerprints would prove my point
And banish me from any place that’s holy;
Surely, God, when You ate with those outcasts,
Those bedraggled ladies of the night,
It was just false advertising, nothing more
You didn’t really mean it, what You said,
Cuz if You did,
Then it can’t be about that list of rules
It’s about the love you gave
You set that girl free –
Captive no more to the shame and the guilt
Because when you died,
Religion became the lie.
~ Ilana Reimer