‘Chaos in Church’ a poem by URC poet-minister Lucy Berry

Chaos in ChurchThere are times when a person enters church so damaged that we can see absolutely no way to help them, or even to reach them. This upsets me. It upsets me equally to hear church people say: ‘They've made a choice’. To believe this is a comfortable way off a terrible hook; because the point at which such chaotic persons could discern their choices is long gone. So, what do we do? Nothing. But pray.

Chaos in Church

Chaos wandered into church;
with splitting plastic-bags of cans,
and stubbed-out fag-ends in each hand,
and sat down with a lurch.  

And there it sat muttering,
crying, swearing, sipping, 
its trousers slipping;
clinging not-much to a word
someone was uttering. 

Chaos half-heard believe.
and half-heard love.
and half-heard life, 
heard death
and started to leave;
dropped its beer, its fags,
dropped its two plastic bags

and let out some sad cosmic screech, 
of grief, as we began to sing.

Disorder from before the world began.
And which no word seemed utterly to reach.


Lucy Berry is a poet, a mum, and a minister of the United Reformed Church. Her website is at www.lucyberry.com and she's available to perform, preach and lead workshops.