Jesus instructed us to say the Lord’s Prayer whenever we come together so I have come to say it before praying for my wife and others every morning and again before bed.
As I began to pray last night I stopped on ‘Our Father.’ My mind could not get past those two words. How tragic that ‘Father’ does not generate good memories for all of us. I think of my Dad, step-father and grandfather with good memories. Each was very different, but I knew each wanted the best for me, each in their own way.
I suppose there are even a few of us suspicious of the word ‘Our.’ ‘Our’ gives me a warm feeling. Whether we choose to exercise God’s gift of free will by believing in God or dying in denial, that word ‘Our’ connects all of us together, even though the gift of free will drives most of us apart. Whatever our gender or ethnicity and whether we are insecure or proud, old or young, petite or large, ‘Our’ is an inclusive word that leaves no one out.
We can and do make it difficult for others and especially ourselves to see us as a daughter or son of God, but that word ‘Our’ should reassure us we are.
I know there are people who disown their children for one reason or another, but knowing God will never disown me, regardless of what I’ve done, is an unexplainable and beyond comprehension comfort. I am not alone, regardless of the hole I have ventured into because of my own lack of discretion or maybe because of the unkindness of someone else.
Some may say I am theologically incorrect to say that God belongs to me, but I know God does … and I have learned that God belongs to you as well. If I am wrong you will have to prove my incorrectness by qualifying what is meant by ‘belongs’ … which leads back to ‘Our Father.’
We leave God. God does not leave us. After all, “No One Left Behind” originated with ‘Our Father.’