This poem made me think about what it might be like to walk into our Burning Man camp, then to participate and experience our camp’s expression of church and Reading Room. I especially like the idea of washing “feet and thoughts,” and knowing that we start with our own! Do you see anything else in this poem that you can relate to our camp? -Nancy
Walking into a church
By BARBARA COOK
From the March 1983 issue of The Christian Science Journal
should be like walking into a manger,
not a hall of judgment—
a place so shorn of self-righteousness,
so free of all reproach,
that the hungering heart will feel no
shame, no awkward fear,
Sitting in a church
should be like sitting in a field of sunlight—
comfortable and warm—
while Love’s sweet air is bearing
fragrances of Christ’s simplicity.
Experiencing church should be like walking through* a stream,
where Christly ministrations
wash your feet and thoughts
and make you clean.
Oh, yes—I know how I expect my
church to feel ….
Dear Father-Mother, teach me
now the way to make it real.
* A correction was made in the February 1985 German Herold and the March 1986 French Heraut, in which this poem was reprinted and translated: “wading in” was changed to “walking through”.