The Salesman’s Messiah

are not your job
are not your car
are not the money in your wallet
are not your husband
your wife
your kids
your car
are not even your own!
… Excuse me, sir, excuse me miss…
I can see you walking away
from my warmly fired
lead sentiments
Does it hurt when the rocks hit you?
Well, I’m sorry if the truth hurts
but it isn’t my fault
you’re living your life wrong
You’ve got your priorities flipped
and you can’t see you’re
riding the underbelly
of a freight car fired express rate
straight to the fires of perdition.
I’m the foremost expert
on this subject
or haven’t you heard my name
cried in grateful tears
in all your church social circles?”

Excuse me mister
I forgot your name and
yes, I’ve heard your name spoken
that’s why we came
to hear you speak.
But I gotta tell your
with this stupid grin on my face
I don’t buy what you’re selling right now.
I think you got it all wrong.
And I can tell by that quizzical
and slightly reddened face
that you think I’ve stepped
my boots onto your toes
(those are nice shoes,
so I’m sorry)
But I gotta tell you I just
can’t buy what your’e selling
and selling a lot of from what
I can see.

But that book, that CD that DVD
with your name attached to it
doesn’t bring me comfort or peace.
Your smile on the cover of every one
does not bring joy to me.
I am
Not seeing the messiah you’re selling
Cleverly worded in systematic steps
cleverly titled with clever words
that all start with the same clever letter
I stared at that list of yours for two weeks
and I still have a hard time
remembering all of it
And I’m not stupid
because I hung it up on the door of my fridge.
But it didn’t stick
so I feel like a failure now
to a unit of measure
I was never meant to live up to.

But thank God, right?
Thank God I’ve got a Messiah
who isn’t anything like yours.
I’ve compared them
and the things they say
and they don’t quite line up
which is interesting to say the least
because our Messiahs,
they share the same name
and it’s Jesus.
So, forgive me if I inquire
about a few inconsistencies
I’m asking humbly because
I know you’re a lot of things more than I am
Smarter, wiser, stronger, older,
and surely better read
but I read my bible and
this is what the words said to me.

Yes, I agree that we are not
the things we possess
because nobody can serve two masters
because he’ll love one
and end up resenting the other.
That much is true
But, please, correct me if I’m wrong
because I wanna get it right
but isn’t to be given much
a blessing as well,
to him who is given much
much will be required of him?
Can’t we use the things we have
to extend to others the grace we are given?
I thought I had a handle on this
but my foundation feels shaken

I’m not understanding the imbalance
in this equation
because you say I am not
the ones that I love,
my friends, my family and even my dog
because I must hate my family
to adequately follow you say
yet I’m told I must love others
as I would (or was that do) myself
and my wife
the way that Christ loved the church
which means I’m supposed
to die for her, right?
Why is it every time Jesus
says something beautiful
some guy with letters at the end of his name
has to write something
to make sure I understand it right
and if I’m wrong,
God help me.
I’m tired of people sending me
to hell every day
you know?
I’m tired of feeling this way,
and seeing precious hours spent
on words
rather than things that break easy

I’m sorry
Mr. Preacher Scholar Man
I don’t mean to take up all of your time
(that’s a nice watch, by the way)
but I think my Jesus makes more sense
than yours does.
I know thinking is your game
and you’re better at it than I
This time I think I’ll go with the thoughts
Jesus has put into my mind.
Because sometimes I think we forget
the price of admission
Sometimes I like to look at an image
of the cross
with Jesus still on it
Because sometimes
I like to be reminded that
before the cross was empty
his body hung up on it
That, before that heavy stone
seem to have moved of its own will
Jesus laid inside it,

But then he got up and walked
from that tomb
And saved me from the hell
you say I’ve reserved myself a seat to.
I’m sorry, sir.
I don’t mean to be rude,
I don’t mean to smudge your nice leather shoes
with the treads of my boots.
But you and I
won’t see eye to eye on this one.
Because you’re selling the wrong Jesus
and I ain’t buying.


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