‘Testimony’ by Stephen Dunn


Plate of CookiesSince it’s easy for me to measure my health on a moral scale–either feeling guilty for the extra scoop of ice cream or righteous for abstaining–I have to be reminded not to take myself too seriously. And when a poem pokes fun lightheartedly at my faith and my dietary discipline, it’s too good (and too important?) not to share.


Stephen Dunn

The Lord woke me in the middle of the night,
and there stood Jesus with a huge tray,
and the tray was heaped with cookies,
and He said, Stephen, have a cookie,

and that’s when I knew for sure the Lord
is the real deal, the Man of all men,
because at that very moment
I was thinking of cookies, Vanilla Wafers

to be exact, and there were two
Vanilla Wafers in among the chocolate
chips and the lemon ices, and one
had a big S on it, and I knew it was for me,

and Jesus took it off the tray and put it
in my mouth, as if He were giving me
communication, or whatever they call it.
Then He said, Have another,

and I tell you I thought a long time before I
refused, because I knew it was a test
to see if I was a Christian, which means
a man like Christ, not a big ole hog.

(from The New Yorker: March 5, 2012)

by Tommy Grimm

(Sorry for the tempting picture of chocolate chip cookies. May we too have the grace not to be big ole hogs.)

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About Tommy Grimm

I have an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and currently work as a Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life. Born and raised in the heartland of America, I'm a certified Hoosier who loves basketball. I've recently discovered the wonder of beets, and I take guilty pleasure in gas station candy, particularly circus peanuts and spice drops.

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