POETRY

My Personal Relationship with Christ

By

So let me say up front I’ve never had
a personal relationship with Christ,
although Lord knows I’ve tried. For instance, when
my mother died, I went to write her name
in the Book of the Dead at Corpus Christi Church.
I carefully inscribed it on the page
and in that devastating darkness wished
that He had come to talk with me. I prayed
for quick conveyance of my mother’s soul,
but what Christ may have done to comfort her,
wherever she might have been, I never knew.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like
to have a drink with Him. Would He show up
at Mulligan’s or at the Old Town bar?
He wouldn’t take a whisky, only wine.
I’d treat Him to a round or two. The point
is that He never comes, which makes it hard
to have a personal relationship.
Maybe I should go to Abilene
and get a gun, a Bushmaster assault rifle,
and learn to sing some Randy Travis tunes
and send my money in to men of God
like Creflo Dollar and his Ministry.
In righteousness and rhinestones maybe then
Christ would come to me. It would be good
to have this personal relationship,
but how does anybody pal around
with the nexus of all human suffering?
And why would He decide to hang around
and listen to my low-end grievances?
To think He would is to be guilty of
the sin of Pride, or at the very least
to be unpleasantly presumptuous.
If everyone is special, no one is,
and I would bet that Jesus doesn’t want
a personal relationship with me.

John Foy’s first book is Techne’s Clearinghouse (Zoo Press, 2004).  His poems have appeared in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (Ohio University Press, 2009), Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, Parnassus, Cimarron Review, The Raintown Review, Barrow Street, Think, and other journals, and on line at Poetry Daily, Nervous Breakdown, Umbrella, linebreak, and Big City Lit.  He works as a senior financial editor at Itaú BBA Securities.  He lives in New York with his wife, son, and daughter.

So let me say up front I’ve never had
a personal relationship with Christ,
although Lord knows I’ve tried.