Oh my. Austin French's new song, "Why God," adds one more perspective on a question I have been sitting with for a couple of years.
That question has to do with Jesus' instruction in Matthew:
"After this manner,
I've explored this injunction from so many angles. I have asked colleagues, friends, and mentors for their insights. I have stopped myself -- over and over again -- from praying out "the words" only. I have asked myself: Is this vain repetition? Are you in your closet? Are you praying to be heard of men -- or women? Are you praying "about God," or in conversation "with God?"
But there was something about watching Austin's video today, that sent a shiver of something real through me. It has to do with this song's connection to the opening words of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father..." and this above-quoted line from the video, "it made me a kid, who needs my dad."
I felt it. In that moment I could feel the manner of prayer. I am a child, in conversation with her father. Her (as Jesus called God) "Abba" - which translates, "daddy or papa." It could also be mommy or mama.
I know this feeling. I know how delighted I am to have our children come to us with their questions -- about anything. And I know that it isn't just our best stab at human answers that are meaningful to them, it is more about the way we listen to them -- with our entire whole-hearted love and focused attention.
A parent's love honors their child's questions. A parent does not see the question as a failing on their (or their child's) part, but simply an opportunity to deepen their relationship with one another. Sometimes, there are no words in the answers, and sometimes there are no answers, just oneness.
When our children ask the "why" questions, our hearts open up with such a softness. I can only imagine our Father-Mother God's infinite tenderness when we bring our "why" questions to Him/Her.
And to be honest, sometimes, to feel that tenderness is the only answer we really need. To feel heard -- and held. And often, the answer is simply that feeling itself -- of being in relationship with my Father-Mother God. And most times, it is the entire answer. "Lo, I am with you - alway."
Right where the "why" question tries to insinuate that I am asking because, "I don't know..." I find that, I do know. I know exactly where to turn. I know precisely Who to take my hurt, my uncertainty, my aching heart, and my "why" questions to. Asking "why," brings me home -- again and again. This longing -- causes me to curl into my divine Parent's arms -- and to be held. This deeply intimate connection with God -- is the manner, after which I pray.
That is my "why."
offered with Love,