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Our Father

When I was a boy
in Lutheran church
Dim light
Golden candlestick
Wood pews

We would say a litany together
The Lord's Prayer

"Our Father
Who art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name ..."

I could feel those words
Rumbling in my chest
Like thunder
As everyone spoke in unison
Low, thunderous unison

"Our Father ..."

It comes to mind
As I think of Him
My Father
And consider what that means

How, as a child
He was to me
Like that utterance
Thunder and Far Away
And Awe, Strangeness
Rumbling in my chest
Someone you don't
Want to make angry

I was a bit wary of Him
Like "growing up"

I remember one morning
Walking to school
I stopped
And got on my knees
Right in the dew-wet grass
In someone's front yard
And I said:
"God, I'll serve you
When I grow up. But for now
I am going to have fun
And be a kid."

Because to me
God was for adults
With ties
Stern faces
Dim lights
Golden candlesticks
A rumbling voice
Like thunder

And now
I reflect on
"Our Father"
And I understand
That "Father"
Means so much more
Than the distant one
Who rules over you

My dad
sometimes looks at me
With something in his eyes
Something tender
powerful emotion
That I can't fully understand
And he says
"I'm proud of you, son"
And grabs the back of my bald head
In his rough and callused hand
And I smell
The good smell
Of engine grease.

1 comment:

Johnny Levy said...

You are awesome and I love you