skip to Main Content


The phrase “God the Father” makes me cringe a little bit. The Patriarchy, Authority, Judgment — it evokes all those things, and that’s just not how I prefer to think of Spirit anymore.

I avoid the capitalized, masculine pronoun. Even when quoting someone else who used He/Him, I usually change it to a She/Her. Or better yet, an It. I deliberately make it something abstract — the Infinite Divine Urge, Life Itself, the Absolute, the Universe, an Ever-Loving Everything.

And then I soundly affirm that I am a part of It. This is not something separate from me, lording over me, the boss of me. Heck, no. If It’s anything It’s us — we’re It.

But then, Father’s Day rolls around, and I start thinking about how beautiful a Dad’s Love can be. How good it feels to be held in strong arms, safe and looked after and cared for. And I wonder if I might reclaim a little of that in my idea of God.

I mean, I don’t want to turn everyone off, and it feels regressive, maybe even a little dangerous, to be thinking about God the Father Almighty. But wouldn’t it also be lovely to sink into an all-encompassing paternal embrace, if we could do so without subverting ourselves, or diminishing our own strength, authority, and responsibility?

Because, yes, It’s the Conceptualized Infinite Ultimate All. And yes, too, it’s our own innermost hearts, our true selves. And might it also be that which loves us — particularly, especially, and personally. Something and/or Someone looking out for us, guiding, teaching, and growing us.

This poem touched my heart:

by Li-Young Lee
To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he’d removed
the iron sliver I thought I’d die from.
I can’t remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy’s palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife’s right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he’s given something to keep.
I kissed my father.

I can’t wait to be with you this Sunday, 10am, at q-Staff Theatre — 400 Broadway Blvd SE. That’s on the southeast corner of Broadway and Lead in East Downtown. There’s plenty of parking up and down Broadway, with several spaces reserved right in front of the theater. If you don’t mind a little stroll and want to leave those rockstar spots for folks who really need them, you can also find lots of free street parking just east on Arno. XO, Drew

©2024 Drew Groves

Back To Top