sprig & vine

Christian gif sets and photos online are so just fucking…beautiful. In fact, they are SO narrowly beautiful that I think they’re starting to give me the wrong impression.

They’re full of white people. And white dresses. Neutral colors, pale walls, Nordic scenes with misty mountains and a lot of perennials. They have family-style tables made of rough hewn woods, the type that can be purchased on etsy for more money than is necessary to fairly compensate a craftsman for his trade (and pay for shipping). How do you think Jesus feels about that, anyway? He was a carpenter. He knows retail.

One can ALSO find candles lit, wreath circles spun out of non-flowering vines and sprigs and hung at angles, everything in artful arrangement, good lighting and brush lettering.

I look at these representations of Christian fellowship styled after whole milk and I think, “THIS is Christ??”

But of course, these photos and videos aren’t. They’re not. They’re us, the children. Only…not all of the children, you dig?

Where are the brown and black people? Where are the crooked teeth? How about tattoos that aren’t minimalist, just LOUD? Hair that wasn’t cut right, scars, sullen eyes? Where are those who are visibly tired, visibly demoralized, visibly hoping while they’re visibly fading?

The Spirit is among the addicts, among the homeless, among the queer, the -of color, the poor and the very, very poor. God dwells among all of us, even when we’re not the default, ESPECIALLY when we’re not the default.

Salvation is holy, is gorgeous, is whole and encompassing and will crash like a wave so vigorously any recipient will be left breathless. But to put it very simply, church lets out every Sunday around noon. And after that, life looks less pretty, because pretty is less sustainable, and all of us are real. As in real broken, real happy, real fucked up and trying (sometimes) real hard.

God with us, right? All of us. Now, I want to see that sentiment travel. I want to see the rest of us in the photos and the gif sets. Christ came and did WORK. He only had that nice, vineyard supper that one time. The rest, he was being a human, in the dirt, where we all came from.