wearing out the gospel glove
with sweat on his brow and calf-skin bible in hand, the free-will baptist preacher stoked the hell fire that was most assuredly awaitin' us. he needn't have bothered. i was already in the front pew, begging God's forgiveness.
after the youth minister contrasted the conquering King of Glory on the white horse with the dastardly one riding the pale horse, my feet stumbled down the risers and i waded into the sea of recommittals.
following a particularly penetrating sermon on our proclivity towards judgment, i fixed my eyes on the orange carpet and walked forward to confess. i had sinned against my brothers and sisters by what i had said and left unsaid. instead of awaiting the sifting of the white seat of judgment i had seared my community with my white hot sarcasm and condemnation. i hoped that my words laid the foundation for a long labor of love.
i once detested this apparent desire to participate in every experience of conversion ever created and questioned the authenticity of my catalytically converted heart. in the warmest tones, they had told me time and again that the initial immersion was more than enough. others whispered that once i was saved, my ticket was non-refundable. but their affirmations, well-intended though they were, have never squared with my experience of faith. i have always felt that conversion is not so much a punctiliar as it is a progressive experience. i constantly feel the need to "recommit" my life to Christ and if i dwelt in an altar call environment my ass would be quite familiar with the front pew. so strap on the gospel glove and encourage the accompanist to play her favorite conversion tune. this boy is comin' home.
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