The Chief End of Man

The Holy Spirit breezed in and bellied up to my kitchen island bar, and

knocking his knuckles on the counter, he asked for a drink.

After I popped off the bottle cap and passed him a beer,

the Spirit asked, “What is the chief end of man?”

Man, I thought.

I settled onto a stool and


In the beginning a baby boy was laid on Eve’s naked breast where she filled

his belly with sweet milk and the dream of a garden he would never know.

The heir to an apple, he murdered his brother, and his mother’s tears

flooded the world. The wall of Jericho fell at her grief.

The edge of civilization, a pile of ruble and devastation //

this must be the chief end of man.

Particles of memories ran through generations of umbilical cords and

placentas, making its way to Jesus with milk on his chin,

who’s death was mourned by Mary at his feet.

More murder and tears, not flooding but soaking the earth drenched

with the pride. With more walls and a cross //

this must be the chief end of man.

The grief of our mothers bear the weight in their tears

of a chief end of sons, all heirs to an apple, from parents undone

by a curse that’s been broken through a son on a cross. All glory to him,

who wipes all her tears //

this must be the chief end of man.


Part of my journey through faith and feminism is my attempt at reconciling the two. They are not binaries and are not either/or. That is a false dichotomy that I often fall victim to. Here I am answering the first question to the Westminster’s Shorter Catechism with my answer to my faith and feminism. It’s imperfect, for sure, and something I’ve been playing with for a few weeks, but I’ve shared it with you today. Perhaps in the spirit of holy week. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.



4 thoughts on “The Chief End of Man

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