After the celebration of Communion today, I wanted to share a bit about my feelings and theories on God, my eternal “Abba Patare.” Because God is such a complex entity for me to wrap my head around, it’s always been easier for me to think of him in the realm of a Father figure. Easy for me, because I had a Dad who loved me unconditionally.
Abba Patare is Greek in origin, meaning father. This isn’t a bunch of hogwash. I’ve discussed this at length with my Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Randy Johnson, and he says I am “right on” thinking of God as a father figure.
When you understand how I feel about God being a loving, kind and non-judgmental type of Father, you’ll also get that I don’t feel scared at the thought Him watching over me, watching me live my life. If you know me well, you’ll notice I’m ok with being well behaved and I’m ok when I’m really poorly behaved. My Dad always loved me either way too. He was always thoughtful and forgiving with me.
Just like my Dad, my Abba Patare always welcomes me into His home, His arms, and His place of worship. I think He loves me unconditionally whether I go into a church or not. He loves me when I act stupid; he loves me when I am good. He loves me when I am wrong, he loves me when I am holy and when I act completely unholy.
Just like my own Dad, I bet there are times when He aches watching me, wishing I hadn’t made a poor choice, when I’ve said the wrong thing, ran an extremely yellow light or went to a bar to watch football and drink martinis instead of going to church.
Just like my own Dad, I bet He cries when I’m hurting and wants to carry me when my feet hurt too much to walk. I bet He aches when I’m sitting in church praying “HELP, HELP, HELP ME” because I can’t think of any other eloquent words to send up to Him.
Just like my own Dad, I know my eternal Father rejoices in my joys, loves hearing me sing off key, doesn’t care that my house, garage and car are dirty, and that I wear the same wrinkled clothes over and over again.
I know my eternal Father, my Abba Patare loves me. Only He can see into my heart and soul. He is the only one I care about impressing, and only He gets to judge whether I am holy.
I love you Abba Patare. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for bringing me parents who love me unconditionally, so I would learn how to love my children in that beautiful way too.