Holy Hungers and Delights

Image: “Bill and Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann kiss through the fence as Bill enters Williams International weapons manufacturer to protest and be arrested,” Walled Lake, Michigan, 1988.

There we lay. Stranded. Alone.

Just my little sister and I, way up in the tree house. We huddled together under our sleeping bags as the rain began to fall. Our shoes had fallen to the ground leaving us stuck in this circle of cedar trees.

“There is no one to rescue us!” cried Lucy.

The wind grew stronger and the tree house began to sway with the cedars.

We were perhaps exaggerating the danger that was before us, but for a few hours we were parentless and forced outside. Freedom? Or abandonment? Our imaginations could carry us either way.

Our parents had told us that they were going to make love and that we should play outside. The doors were locked. And so, we suffered a grand adventure in the trees.

Sex was talked about casually in my house. We knew it was an expression of love and joy between our parents who had no hesitancy about making out in the kitchen.

Several years after this windy cedars adventure, after a long struggle with brain cancer, my mom was dying. I’ll never forget the moment we realized it was time to move her to the hospital bed in the living room. We were in the final days of hospice. My dad looked at us with tears in his eyes and said, “I want one more night with her. One more time to be in one another’s arms in our bed.”


Sex. There is so much for us all to explore in such a small word.

We come to this space knowing that so many of us carry deep wounds and trauma in our bodies from religious abuse, toxic theology, and cultural violence. These powers have left shame and self-loathing in its wake. We honour and acknowledge that – and yet this issue does not dwell there but instead aims for healing, empowerment, and delight.

At Geez, we believe in an embodied theology. Spirit is at work not just in our minds and hearts, but in the workings of our bodies. Spirit dwells in the aches and pains and in our urges and delights. Spirit cries out in moments of movement and in stillness. Spirit rests in our longings and our loneliness. Our bodies are all different, from their curves, to their rhythms, to the stories they tell, and damn it, they are all holy. Holy in the slowness and holy in the wild. Bodies are holy by themselves and in the company of others.

Sex, like all the creation I looked upon from that tree house, is lusciously and divinely diverse. On these pages you will find a small taste of this grand feast.

Let your senses guide you. Listen for hunger and desire. Let your body lead you closer to God.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann is the editor of Geez and lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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