They started as a small group
A gathering of the faithful
In homes, around tables
Children in laps or crawling the floors

They bought a building
And painted it
with a sign that read
Everyone Welcome

People arrived
The homeless
Single mothers
Those rowdy teenage kids
that smoke in the parking lot

It made them uncomfortable

They put locks on the doors
To keep out the homeless
The addicts
The rowdy teenage kids
that skateboard in the parking lot
but still the sign read
Everyone Welcome

After a while
The gathering dwindled
The elders got more elderly
And no one new came
“What can we do?”
They asked themselves
“How do we bring more people in?”

One of them got the bright idea
To build a big cross
Bigger than the billboards on the freeway
“That way they’ll know who we are.”

But the town already knew
That they would lock their doors
to the homeless
the hurting
the teenage kids
who have no families to go home to

And the Cross Tower which should have meant love
became a symbol
of the fortress
their fear had built