Nexus Anew

 
 

Nexus Anew

The mortar clings like sugar
crusted persistently to the curves
of a porcelain bowl.

Like fingers and nails
worn raw from abrasion, 
my own tools are blunted and meek,
impotent against sand and rock.

But these walls must come down, 
must be stripped to the foundations—
a solid mass resounding with eternity:
deep and silent, enduring
the rising and falling of these walls
my safety and my cage.

Keep an eye for these jagged corners
these tedious walls
which crumble without caution—
no sign of their weighty descent—
the cornerstone unfounded
and the mountain remains.

The sweet security of those shabby walls,
those temple sanctums of shame. 
I knew my way around there:
prayers to be sung, 
aged wine, tasted
to nourish and poison.
Now what?

There: horizons unseen, 
strange landscapes before me.
Those walls were my nexus—
where the tidy lines of my temple
composed a home.
Not a wall remains—
brick and mortar ground to dust
mingling with soil and rock. 

I sing for water—
that same water to which the sugar yielded
a pool of nectar caressing porcelain
nourishing it’s quiet beauty—
water to make mud and brick, 
to build a new home 
on this mountain
A more hospitable temple:
a nexus anew. 


Story

It began like a whisper in a storm, and slowly became a hunch, which I largely ignored until my gut forced that hunch into a series of questions. Questions which, in themselves, began to reveal the structures that composed my worldview…my faith structure….my way of understanding who I was, what I was here for, and what participating in renewal looked like for me.

What does it mean for the Christian Gospel to be good news?

Does faith have more to offer than a diagnostic tool to examine my brokenness and exacerbate my shame?

If God is Glory - Beauty - then might it follow that Her essential nature should be attractive, should pull us towards Themelf by the awe that He inspires?

How does good news manifest in my own imageo dei - my own imaging of God?

If the faith that I am living has brought me to a place of self-hatred, crippling shame, and depression am I accurately reading this gospel (which promises life)?

What role have the Christian institutions surrounding me played in fostering this gospel which has proven toxic to my understanding of my own createdness?

Might it be possible to be queerly faithful? To be a queer Christian?

I wrote this Nexus Anew when I left the church I had grown up in and found a new community of faith to call my own. One that prioritized seeking good questions over preaching the ‘right’ answers, and it was this community that allowed me to begin a process of excavation. In their loving arms, I was able to begin deconstructing the faith that I had known, and rebuild upon the cornerstone of God’s radical love and grace, and a biblical story that cries out for justice and inclusion. It was the beginning of a new season in my in my life and my faith. A journey I continue to walk.


 
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Eric Van Giessen

Eric (he/him) is the Editor of the Queerly Faithful Project. Learn more about Eric here.