to the god behind the masks

Accepting, Yearning for Home
sculpture of a face in the gardens of the Pitti Palace, Florence

God of sowing and reaping

You created a universe of order and chaos
with terrible beauty
And it is very good

All things are working together
But it’s a wild mess
Death and life entwined
Your blessings raining on the just and the unjust

We reap the fruit of our labours, our loyalty, our generosity
We feel the pain of our mistakes, our laziness, our abuse of others

That may be enough for the wise to discern the connections
But not enough for those who can’t
Or won’t
Pay attention

Certainly, it’s not enough to protect you from our hatred

So, Creator of the Universe,
of all goodness and beauty
Forgive us when we see you as Monster
Or call you the Enemy, the Accuser

God of forgiving and loving

You run to us with open arms
At our slightest turning
And throw a party

You invite us to sit like children on your motherly knee
Perfect acceptance and safety
If you’re on our side, who can be against us

We see ourselves completely new
Our shame recedes
Some days we could almost dance naked back in the garden

But a safe home has walls
And walls that protect are still walls
If you’re on our side, who is on the other?

How do we leave a home so warm?
Would you push us out of our nest?

How can this be you who tells us to hate the metaphor you chose to wear –
O Father and Mother of ours?


God of crying and laughing – of things turned upside down

You impregnate humanity with your heart and soul and mind
Offering the poor and forgotten
This meekly potent Humanchild

Crazy, genius God
You fill this child with riddles and stories
That twist and turn

He becomes a leader
Who fails miserably
While inspiring, in-spiriting, the world

He breaks down the walls of the house
Inviting every loser he can find –
the lost, the shamed – the greedy, violent and afraid
Don’t you know when to quit?

He even invites the strong, saying: “Come and die.”
And the rich, saying: “Give it all.”
Then weeps because he knows his wine
looks like water to the rich and strong

God of imagining and trusting

What is this absurd Humanchild saying and doing?

On the way to failing and dying
He speaks out the impossible and it happens
He teaches us to mourn
While saying we can ask for anything

Do dreams and words and hope really heal?
Do love and trust banish demons?

Stopping storms, raising the dead
Whole systems – the way everything works
Change for this Humanchild
How far will you stretch our believing?

And he doesn’t let us sit and admire from a distance
“Do even more,” he says. “Get creative.”
(He is wonderfully, maddeningly, nuts)
“Fail gloriously like I did,” he invites.

It’s like he thinks we are all divine

And yet millennia later
We see the evidence
Of failing to stay dead
We see him everywhere

We believe
Help our unbelief


God of hiding and seeking, of nowhere and everywhere

God without a face
Without metaphors
Of ways higher than our ways

We think we catch a glimpse
And then come crashing down
Hands empty
Lost in fog

Is this the only way you can be big enough for us to stay small?
Small enough for us to grow big?

Can we breathe you in every breath?
See you in the dark?
Touch you when we’re alone?
Hear your music in the silence?

Can this be enough?
Must you be faceless to be enough?

So that we see you in every face
Every drop of water

sculpture of a face in the gardens of the Pitti Palace, Florence

– W. Thiessen, February 28, 2014

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