An Allegory for the Church

I need to make a confession.
There is not a day that goes by, that I don’t have some contact with someone from my church. Don’t get me wrong, my church has issues. (Well, I attend there … and hence it’s bound to have issues!)
If you can’t identify with me and my love for my church, I get that. If you have been wounded by the one place that should have been there for you, I think I understand. If your love for Church has become cold, or if you never have considered to give the Church a shot, could I ask you to consider to find one?
The following poem came together over many months.
I wrote it. I re-wrote it. I re-wrote it some more.
I thought it was too dark, not dark enough, too hopeless and too hopeful.
Maybe after reading it (all the way to the end), let me know what you think.
Maybe it will prompt you to tell me about your experience with the Church.
Maybe we could pray together and ask Jesus for a touch of His healing on our hearts and His Church.

While taking a stroll through the woods one-day,
I saw a big man walking my way.

He swung and he waved his hands in much strife,
In right hand scissors, in left hand a knife.

He jabbed and he stabbed with furious might,
With one hand the other – a grotesque sight!

With tools in hand he cut his own digits.
I shuddered in fear; my heart turned frigid.

When he got real close I could clearly see,
He was in much torment and agony.

With a last great effort he pierced his palms,
Then fell next to me with an eerie calm.

I bent over him and looked in dismay
At his disfigured body – didn’t know what to say.

“What’s your name? Can you hear? Sir, reply!”
He whispered “I’m Unity!” and then he died.


I kept on walking on that narrow trail,
When all of a sudden I heard someone wail.

A man was limping and dragging along
On unsteady foot and not real strong.

Around his body lay heavy chains.
As he tried to walk, he sighed in pain.

On his back a burden pushing him down
His face expressed a bitter frown.

When I got real close I could clearly see
He was in much torment and agony.

And as he approached I asked this poor man,
“Who did this to you?” He could hardly stand.

He collapsed and sighed with a sad looking face,
“When Unity died these chains took place.”

He said he was Freedom, took one more breath,
Then all his burdens crushing him to death.


Dismayed and discouraged I kept on walking.
My path seemed dark; then I heard talking.

A man was mumbling and approaching real quick.
He appeared to be hungry, thirsty, and sick.

I heard his words they were hopeless and sad –
Filled with cynical reasons why all was bad.

He was speaking to self and the more he talked
The more downcast his steps and the slower he walked.

When I got real close I could clearly see,
He was in much torment and agony.

Awful disparity came from his lips –
From a mouth filled with gloom his last words dripped.

He whispered a few useless words with a groan,
Then turned to me with a quiet moan.

“My name is Hope. I have come to my end,
For Freedom and Unity both were my friends.”


My mind was troubled and tears filled my eyes.
My heart was heavy, but to my surprise

There in the distance a fourth man appeared
A light shone around Him. My heaviness cleared.

His being was filled with love. I could tell
He knew who I was and He knew me quite well.

His gazed pierced my heart and filled my mind
With love that wasn’t an earthly kind.

When I got real close I could clearly see
That He held out his beautiful hands to me,

“Come, child and witness how I will revive
Bring Unity, Freedom, and Hope back to life.

I will raise Unity up in this place –
A testimony to my people of grace.

Freedom won’t carry large burdens in pain –
For I’m the One who will loosen his chain.

Hope will be strong and my people will see
That Hope is alive because of ME.”
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Colossians 1:18
“Jesus, I am grateful that you use a weak people like us
to make your Kingdom known to the world.
Help us to live among an un-unified people with the love you put in our hearts.
Give us the courage to speak of the freedom you bring to our souls.
Show us how to always point to you, our Eternal Hope of Heaven!”
(Pictures and poetry Heidi Viars, 2017)

14 responses to “An Allegory for the Church”

  1. It’s perfect as is, dear Heidi. I look forward to the hereafter where unity, freedom, and hope will be unhindered–forever. I’ve tasted all three enough to know how good fellowship can be. It’s God’s love–God’s Spirit–that woos the lost to Himself. ❤ But it sure is nice when His workers overflow with His Spirit too. Revival is needed in many of today's churches. Revival is needed in me.
    Blessings ~ Wendy


  2. I never gave thought to the connection between unity, freedom, and hope. No wonder the enemy likes to create divisions among us. But no body of believers is beyond repair! Jesus can bring those all-important elements back to life, just as you’ve said. My prayer: “Let it begin with me!”


    1. Yes, you are so right! “Lord, start with me!“
      Long ago, a preacher drew a circle before he headed into a town to preach revival. He then stepped into that circle and asked God to start revival right there, in that circle! Thanks for loving the Body of Christ so well, friend!!❤️


  3. Excellent poem, Heidi.
    Very deep and thought-provoking, read it three times (I’m kind of slow).
    I love what you wrote before the poem. I think every Christian has been hurt by the church. This is another kind of trial, maybe the worst kind of trial, especially for new believer.
    Great pictures too.


    1. Thank you, Bill for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I agree that we all have been hurt by the Church. So often I have been the one who has hurt. I am so grateful for the grace and mercy of our God! 😊


  4. Thank you, Heidi, for investing your time and much prayer in writing your thought provoking, Allegory for the Church. I too love my church. It is by no means perfect–considering, as you pointed out, its gracious inclusion of me on its for over 30 years. There have been times when I have not been “happy” with my church. But when I prayed, the Lord did not lead me to another place but called me to forgive and give thanks. The keys to Unity, Freedom and Hope within the church can only be realized as the Love and Forgiveness granted us by Christ are prayerfully and, at times, sacrificially applied. ❤️


    1. Yes, we must be willing to give what we ourselves so desperately need, namely love and forgiveness. While on earth, we only see dimly. We love and forgive often with such frail attempts. But as we walk toward one with compassion and with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can truly see a piece of Heaven on earth. Let’s keep trying, sister! I think it’s worth it 🙂


  5. That was a beautiful confession and I pray that we all love His church and our local assemblies. The poem was perfect . . .saying just what it needed to say . . .and helping us to pray and look to Him. I love that verse, how He is the preeminence! :). Blessing and love and prayers for all the words He wants to send to us through you.


    1. Thank you, dearest Debbie for your input. You are such a vital part of His Church. Your encouragement and daily devotion to God inspire those around you. Blessings to you!


  6. Dark? Yes, but also filled with light and hope at the end.
    I am one who has been hurt by the church, and even though I have been attending a local church, I don’t see myself ever again going through the process of becoming a member. One of the things I appreciate about the new community I now live in is how ‘unified’ the churches have become after a devastating flood from Hurricane Irene. I have had experiences in my past in which Independent Baptist churches refused to work with other denominations and sometimes even other Independent Baptist churches. They were filled with legalism, which is an enemy of unity, freedom, hope and love. Although I have considered myself “Done” with church, I have never lost faith, hope and love for Christ and His bride.

    Love your poem!


    1. Thanks Rene, for your comment. What you say is so true. We often don’t realize how desperately we are in need of ALL of the Body until we come to a crisis. We sometimes let small differences separate us. I have been praying for revival for a few years now. I think our individuality has become somewhat of a stumbling block to the community of Christ followers. Let’s continue to pray that we would be a good example to a world that is watching.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well written, Heidi……yes, I see the darkness in it, but the message is profound! I see this as
    one of the best you have sent to my email, thank you for writing the words and ideas that the
    Holy Spirit whispered into your ears. My mind and heart has this to ponder now…….so good to
    have you as a member of the same body of Christ that I am in!


  8. Almost to real and too deep for comment Heidi. Very thought provoking.


    1. Thank you, Liana, for reading and reflecting your thoughts. Sending blessings all the way your way 🙂


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