Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Grandfather God

I have trouble seeing the Divine as a father, due to too much Christian imagery of the stern and patriarchal "Lord and Father of mankind". The word Grandfather makes me think of Native American spirituality instead. But the imagery of this prayer does not draw on that source, but rather on childhood experiences of my own grandfather.

Grandfather God,
who trails beards of moss over the rocks and the trees
and decks the bushes in autumn with hairy seed-cases;
you are not an authority figure but a playmate.
We come to your house on holy days
to play hide and seek,
sing lustily,
and have tea and cakes.
Your wisdom is of the humble variety,
quietly spoken, close to the earth.
You love to gaze at the stars
and give bread to the ducks.
You don't tell me off,
you just hold me close
and tell me jokes about life.
Tell us another story, Grandpa.
Tell us how we are loved.
Let me bring you something -
a cup of tea? a biscuit?
No. Only my heart will do,
as I sit cradled in your arms
by the hearth of dreams.
A heart bruised by experience,
brimming with joy,
suffused with love.
Well, then.
Cheerio, Grandpa.
See you soon.

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