Sunday, July 26, 2009

day 6: too brown for jesus

I sang last 19 years worth of Sundays sitting in koa pews


Looking out to the ocean for god

Our cross hung from the ceiling draped with cloth is the closest thing to a mast and sail I have ever witnessed from this position

When the missionaries approached the Hawaiian Islands

The natives saw god in the flags and sails

Flying crosses draped in white

A clean crucifix

Missionaries with bibles and lessons

Jesus Christ hung from their necks

Brown eyes could fix on what they couldn’t touch

Listen to what they wouldn’t preach

God was for every one to follow

But only for white men to lead

God was exclusive

God was beautiful

I want to see him like they did

Before the fear

Just excitement

Want to know him before tainted as

A faceless menace of change

All I remember from school is god

Through his white wind breath saw clean slates created with newly abolished laws

The timing for change was perfect

And for almost 200 years brown hands rose thorn prayers to the heavens for their new savior

For salvation

I was taught

I was brought up knowing god

Memorized his face without ever seeing a picture

In 1994 I was baptized in the same sea god created to transport his word to me but I saw no speeding crucifix

No jesus just water

They told me that day that GOD was watching

and so I remember my four year old eyes twitching looking for a white bearded man

reaching my brown hands for something I would never be pure enough to touch


  1. deep. I love the tone of this piece

  2. Finding God for the first time... it comes for some when home is no longer home and when you realize that your parents hands and those hands of the ones he holds dearly are not only brown but they are stained red... God is not a mean kid with a magnifying in front of the sun trying to burn us. God is more than our bodies can contain and so much more than our hearts can imagine. Good luck on your journey... beauteous poem...