By Anita Tanner



Or right-click here to download the audio file: Communicable


“Religion is like small pox.  If you get

a good dose, you wear scars.”

—Vardis Fisher


Dosage:  Words

stretch and elongate,

strain and break

from overuse, disintegrate

or bind too tight,

the life blood cut off

from appendages,

sermons and meetings



Dosage:  Stress,

a beehive programmed,

overloaded with motion—

classes, callings and activities.

Accelerated pace

an overstated emphasis.

We must run faster

than strength to keep up,

attend but not attending.


Dosage:  Law

Rehashed on Sunday,

class  doctrine seldom green

and growing, flux of disorder

and despair at the fringes

of lifetimes, distraction

an acquired habit, pupils

perpetually moving in and out

through the heavy fire-safe door.


Dosage:  Sacrament

Dissociated from grace,

being prodigal, our minds and hearts

cannot fully wait with Him

for even one weekly hour.

Far beyond the bread and water,

far beyond His wounds and stripes,

we wander away—

our deepest scars  self-inflicted.