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The Church is my Mother ~ Guest Contributor, Ryan Kemp-Pappan

The Church is my Mother ~ Guest Contributor, Ryan Kemp-Pappan

The church is my mother.

In an actual, literal way.

 

She did not ask to be so.

She could never live up to my hopes for her.

She taught me how to color outside the lines.

She gave me the courage to love others.

She nurtured my soul and showed me I was valued.

 

She came to my banquets and watched me rock the Psalty chorus.

She gave me clothes when I was naked.

She fed me when I was hungry.

 

When I felt ashamed, she wiped my tears and told me I was loved.

 

She has gotten ill and is unable to care for herself.

She tries, like hell, to keep her independence.

The small things get ignored.

The small things become big things and her health decreases.

My siblings stop calling, outside of the mandated occasions.

 

I call her every week.

 

I endure the conversations about getting married and having kids with a smile and nod.

When she asks for money I give as much as I can.

I listen when she laments about no one visiting her and the woe of friends dying too young.

 

The house is crumbling around her.

 

Yet, she insists to stay.

 

“What if visitors come, who would greet them?”, she says.

 

She wonders aloud about how her children don’t appreciate the sacrifices she has made for them.

 

She can’t drive at night anymore.

 

She worries about the world around her, it is foreign to her.

She wonders where she has gone wrong.

 

It was not supposed to be like this.

 

She was faithful.

She did all the right things.

 

Her heart beats with an almost constant sorrow. She longs for yesterday.

 

I wipe her tears.

The church is my mother.

She did not ask to be so.

 

She could never live up to my hopes for her.

 

Yet, she is still my mother.

 

And I love her for that.

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Ryan Kemp-Pappan is an Angelino born social worker living in Kansas. He currently works residential SUD treatment. He is a practitioner of mindfulness. He is a lover of tacos. He is a recovering alcoholic.  He is a father of two excitable human muppets and two cats. He is a pastor's spouse and once was a pastor himself. He loves to lift heavy shit and loathes cardio. He is a non-violent practioner that delights in good conversation. 

A Virtuous Spiral

A Virtuous Spiral

Hey, Counter Culture...

Hey, Counter Culture...