Our Dad

One of my great-nieces was learning the “Our Father.”

In her desire to do it right she asked her older sister to pray with her. She began the prayer: “Our Dad, who works in heaven…”

Children approach awesome truths with such innocent simplicity. We speak to them about our God and the things of God.

We say that he is our heavenly Father and with the purity of their hearts they embrace what we have told them and incorporate these things into their world view. Sometimes their innocence can be refreshing and often it is humorous.

Parents will tell their children that they are going to God’s house and that they must be good. With their wondering minds they come into the church and there in the front is the priest resplendently robed.

In case you haven’t guessed, more than once I’ve been surprised by a little voice greeting me with: “Hi, God.” I usually respond that I’m not God; I just work for him.

The beauty of a child’s faith is something precious and I’m certain that it touches the heart of God. No wonder Jesus told his disciples: “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Humility is the acknowledging of the truth of our littleness. For a child their littleness is self-evident. They approach the world and the things of heaven from the perspective of their childhood. Unlike adults they are not confused by an appearance of maturity.

Blessed indeed is the person who can imagine themselves climbing up onto the lap of God and placing their head upon his shoulder.

Jesus told us to approach God in this manner: “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).

The next time you say the “Our Father” perhaps you might try replacing the word “Father” with “Dad.”

Notice how the mood of the prayer changes. It becomes more personal. It leaves you with the feeling of being little. And so we are.

— ——–

Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Joseph Orr of Holy Spirit Parish, Lock Haven.