Saint Sarah

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Through rain and snow she’ll be there
She doesn’t mind humiliation
The more she has to go through
The greater her claim
To martyrdom
Passers-by taunting her brimstone oration
Saint Sarah
With a book in her hand
And a voice in her head
She knows she must warn the people
Of the fate
That awaits them
After they’re dead

Not through sympathy
Not through empathy
Not through sisterly concern
Does she spend her days
Shouting at people to change their ways
She’s righteous

Every religion begins with persecution
Deep down she longs for the ridicule
That helps stake her claim
To holiness
She’s not a cult, she’s a messenger
Saint Sarah
With a book in her hand
And a voice in her head
She keeps herself going smiling over
The fate
That awaits them


Inspired by a street preacher who used to ply her trade in the centre of Leeds – watching her as she bellowed at the passing crowds who would heckle and laugh at her, I began to suspect that enduring abuse from the heathen masses was actually closer to the point of the exercise than convincing people to convert to her religion or helping them in any way. 

From my  own spiritual journey, I’ve noticed approaches to religion (and secular philosophy for that matter) tend be about either opening yourself up to the enormity of creation or closing down the universe to something that better fits your own ideas.  I’m also uncomfortably aware that Saint Sarah’s self righteous wannabe martyrdom is something we’re all guilty of sometimes.  I’m probably guilty of it right now. 

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