By Amanda Cleary Eastep
Sometimes on a day you could and should sleep in, you wake up at 4 a.m. instead, because, well, that cup of peach tea at 8:30 p.m. …and that thing or 10 on your mind that you need to pray about. So you wake up God, too, who like a patient parent enfolds you beneath the edge of her own warm blanket while you recount in excruciating detail your nightmares.
Then you read a Kindle book under the sheets so you don’t disturb your husband, but that doesn’t put you back to sleep and you realize the rising sun is wrapping its fingers around the edge of your sun-blocking curtains. So you give up because your stomach is grumpy, and there is a shredded wheat biscuit promising satisfaction in a bowl of milk and honey.
Oh, and the kitchen counter probably should be wiped down before 6:30 a.m.
In the dim light of the living room, I see a small Christmas bag on the floor that says JOY and also a few crumbs from our “house church” gathering the night before when our pastor talked about God’s invitation to us to call him Abba, “daddy,” and how we don’t have to go all Old Testament and leave out the vowels because his name is too holy to speak aloud.
We can come to him with grubby fingers and noise and wandering and tripping over our little brothers and blaming them for our falling down. And no matter what our fathers or our mothers are like, He/She/God is all and both and better.
When I open my eyes each morning, refocusing on which hurdles remain from the day before–unsettled arguments, lingering worries, that one (2, 3, 4) bill that never gets paid all the way down–he is standing there like a first-time parent who feels compelled to make sure his child is still breathing.
We can say Daddy, not G-d, but Abba, which also happens to be my second favorite band from the 70s. We can call him that even at the end of a day of sinful thoughts, harsh words, big doubts, shitty attitudes, and bad words.
I’m thankful my children can call on me and don’t leave the vowel out of M-m…that they know they’re loved by me and by a capital “G” with an “o” in the middle God.