This was the very first thing I wrote in my high school senior year English class. I have no date. We had to start with a line from one of Andrea Gibson’s works. I chose the line “I’ve learned the only difference between grace and hell, is who you were praying for when you fell.” in her piece “Traveling”.
That line really struck me at that moment. As someone who lives their life mostly based on evidence and science and was still really figuring things out. I really wanted to take that line and make something else of it.
Especially since I literally recently had someone ask why I don’t murder anyone — considering I don’t believe in the existence of hell. Well, because I am a good person, that’s why. I don’t need a reward or the fear of eternal torture to make me so. I am because I want to treat my other humans with respect and love.
This is one of the only religiously and politically charged things I have written, I am hoping to keep it that way. It almost feels like it should be two separate pieces, but like before I am trying to preserve these things as they were written in that time.
“I’ve learned that the only difference between grace and hell is who you were praying for when you fell.”
— Andrea Gibson, “Traveling”
If God loves his people, will I be punished for not praying beneath his steeple?
You’re right, I don’t believe.
I’ve seen too much anguish and pain to see what you see,
to be a man kneeling and feeling a grace,
that matches no face,
that has no place in my world.
A place untold,
that resides in the deepest place I hold close.
I feel gross at this notion that all people can reside in one ocean,
religion has set too many wars in motion.
I feel so closed in,
tired of being judged because I believe in nothing.
I believe in life, live it the way you wish.
Living like a fish out of water is no way to be a mother, father, sister, or brother.
A wise man once said until the power of love overcomes the love of power we will not know peace.
We as a people protect the love in our arteries with artillery and destruction,
tough and rough with no way in to what we naturally gravitate towards,
hate in our words,
closing all doors of opportunity to peace and tranquility.
It’s killin’ me to see these bodies on the floor, ravaged by a mentality that breeds war.
My heart is sore at the core of my soul!
It’s a travesty to see these scenes of misery and blood,
faces shoved in the mud,
praying to the end of cocked guns.
Thank you for reading.