If God is Like a Father

Weeping, confession, resistance.
Three simple words
with impossible implications
for the journey of faith.

Weeping, confession, resistance.
Three simple, convicting words
with impossible implications
for the life of a parent
embarking on that road.

The tears come to me
as I think about that moment
earlier this week
when I looked across the counter
into his eyes
frozen, stopped, scared
after my anger boiled over
and I growled.

In that moment,
everything stopped
as I’d wanted it to.
But it didn’t end
that way.

Everything stopped
for one moment.

Then the emotional frenzy
sadness anger fear hurt
spinning everywhere.

Chaos amplified.

The tears come as I
acknowledge this imperfection
my capacity to wound
my inability to diffuse
the chaos,
my remarkable propensity
to cause more pain.

If God is like a Father, I pray
God is nothing like me
in that moment.

If God is like a Father, I pray
God’s anger is slow.

If God is like a Father, I pray
God’s patience for me,
for all God’s beloved children
for all God’s beloved creation
when we continually do
what we know we should not do:

violence to ourselves
violence to each other
violence to this, our island home.

Ours is a world of violence
A violence I was born into,
A violence born into me.

I don’t know how to opt out.
I don’t know how to secede
from this world of
violence, power, and fear.

So deep in my mind,
so deep in my heart,
so deep in my bones
that it cannot be exhumed.

I weep when it shows itself.
I confess when it takes control.
But how will I resist?
Struggling to make sense of it,
I’d like to be able to turn
to someone wiser.

And so, if God is at all like a Father, I pray
for wisdom that comes from experience along the way.

This post is followed by “Happy Are They Who Trust in Her.”

Andrew Stephens-Rennie on FacebookAndrew Stephens-Rennie on Twitter
Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Andrew is a writer, dreamer and organizer with a keen interest in developing leaders in faith, compassion and justice.

He currently serves as the Director of Missional Renewal for the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay on the unceded territories of the Sinixt, Syilx, and Ktunaxa nations. He previously served as the Director of Ministry Innovation at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC.

Andrew is cofounder and contributing editor at www.empireremixed.com, and co-editor of "A Sort of Homecoming: Essays Honoring the Academic and Community Work of Brian Walsh" with Marcia Boniferro and Amanda Jagt.

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