This Much is Clear - S. Renée Mitchell

Resonance Ensemble's Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell performed this original work at the second concert of our ninth season. The concert took place at First Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst. 300+ people were moved deeply by these words.

this much is clear
god is in this place
offering forgiveness
— S. Renée Mitchell

This Much Is Clear
(c) 2018 S. Renee Mitchell

this much is clear
god is in this place
within the stanzas
recited from

would you accuse
me dear one
of sprinkling cayenne
on my tongue
for acknowledging
a form of god within me
playing paddycake
with open palms
and unguarded hearts
trying to bake love
as fast as we can
this much is clear
god is in this place
offering forgiveness
for the blasphemous thought
that we are eternally incomplete
when divine grace and power
is ours for the asking

is god not big enough
to be spoken
with every dialect & tongue
is not this being of light
rejoicing over the beauty
of each name assigned
Abba father
King of kings

are our arms not wide enough
to embrace our differences
and acknowledge light
unfolding from darker limbs
reaching for common understanding
must that question of commitment
require a conscious choice

this much is clear
god is in this place
eternal and immortal
willing to hold each of us
in all of our complexities
within a full embrace
withholding nothing
excluding nothing
encircling every pain
and heartbreak
singed into the fiber of our beings
in order to transform it
in the light of gods affection

is not the purpose of our souls
to awaken our hearts
to what is already inside of us
how can we ever find peace
if we are not first peaceful within
how can we ever truly speak of love
with tongue tied rebellions
false truths
and heavily breathing bigotry
that favors walls instead of bridges

where else will we find god
if not amongst the renaissance
that emerges from our ruins
we are humans after all
presbyterian, christian, baptist
muslim, jew, native, immigrant
white, black, brown, nonbinary
undocumented, unchurched
imperfect each one of us
how could our souls not need god

fortunately for us
this much is clear
god is in this place
please look
not around

look deeply within

(Resonance Ensemble is grateful for our partnership with S. Renee Mitchell and look forward to June, when she will once again premiere an original work for our BODIES concert.)