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Black Churches Make Me Feel Good

Updated on September 5, 2020

Black churches make me feel good:

the music, the emotion, the sense of community.

But I don’t believe in god.

Yet sometimes I yearn to steal a drop 

of strength from their well of unwavering faith.

So I sneak in after a service has started,

I sit in the last pew and close my eyes.

Have you ever heard a thick black woman sing to you?

I keep my eyes closed and I listen.

I can always feel her words finding me.

My hurting heart swells and my invisible scars fade.

Her words forgive me and I am cleansed by her voice’s purity.

But I don’t believe in spirits.

Yet her voice floats above my body

sprinkling sweetened showers of reassurance,

telling me that I can rise to life’s occasions,


“Walk in the light: and thine shall be
A path, though thorny, bright;
For God, by grace, shall dwell in thee,
And God Himself is light.”


Sometimes this makes me cry more

because I know that I am a

fraud faking faith for forgiveness;

But when I open my eyes, I can see in hers

that none of these things are true.

Because I believe in souls.

It is the thread that holds strong through all of our disconnections.

Some souls are full-time beggars

while others have opened up weekly clinics.

The woman singing is always the latter of the two,

so willingly handing over strength that took 

a river’s worth of tears to produce.


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    • triciajean profile image

      Patricia Lapidus 

      11 years ago from Bantam, CT

      This is a strong and moving poem/post--and I agree. Blacks have been forced to keep in the church a high level of truth that was missing outside in white dominated society. Black Gospel and all the more recent creative music speaks to me strong and clear.

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