Sanctuaries Dance

Imagine these beams dancing…

Perhaps the music welled up from the deepest
liquid heart of Earth, a thudding planetary beat.
Perhaps the music rained down from the clouds,
a pitter-patter drumming, flowing sound.

Perhaps the music swelled as oceans kept the time,
perhaps the music eddied with the whirling cyclones,
perhaps the music sailed across the universe
upon the wings of light: to make the churches dance.

A storefront plate glass window was the first
to “step onto the floor,” reflections shifting, mazing,
scribing curves on the straight sides of the decal cross,
swaying side to side and back and forth.

On village greens and at the edge of prairies,
along the streets and in the city centers,
clapboards hummed as steeples bowed,
copper clappers tapping as they circled.

Stained glass sparkled, catching light, returning it
in new directions. Saints and prophets twisted
gracefully, plaster no longer rigid, marble arms
extending, reaching, drawing near, relaxed.

Granite groaned to twist and turn, towers bowing.
Magen David whirled. Crosses leapt. Buddhas bowed.
Tabernacles, altars, tables, all their leggy footwork pounded.
Minarets described a stately pirouette.

In praise of all creation, we could watch.
In praise of holy and celestial music, we could watch.
In praise of all this Goodness, we could watch:
To see the sanctuaries dance.

This poem emerged from work on a UCC Daily Devotional, one about individual people dancing for the joy of God’s love. It placed an image in my head, however, of the Church dancing – or at least of church buildings dancing.

Photo of Church of the Holy Cross UCC in Hilo, Hawai’i, by Eric Anderson.