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God is not Two Men and a Bird

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Dear Lord,

Let me introduce myself again.

It’s Claire.

I’m just approaching our time together

from a different angle.

I’ve decided to start praying/talking

to/with you on paper.

I think it will slow me down,

focus me,

and make me more present to you

as you work in, through and around me.

I think it will be an improvement over our typical

fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants conversations.

To get us off on the right track,

I 'd like to find a name to call you

that feels right.

I’ve got to say...

writing the words,

Dear Lord,


Why do I call you Lord?

Lord is…I don’t know…




mired in unsavory human history.

And who is the Lord anyway?

We talk about Jesus being Lord

and then turn around

and call God the Father Lord.

Following that line of reasoning,

why don’t we ever call the Holy Spirit Lord?

Calling you, “God,”

doesn’t feel right either.

too formal…

too distant…

like addressing a business letter

“to whom it may concern.”

Divine Mystery is as

close as I’ve ever come

to understanding you,

but it makes for clunky conversation

I need your help with this, ________.

How is it that I am so sure of you,

but don’t know what to call you?

It’s like having a secret Santa

or a blind date.

Rote Christian prayers are full of names

and characteristics for you:


God of Power and Might

Creator of Heaven and Earth

Holy Spirit


Almighty and Eternal

Christ Child

Heavenly King

Savior of the World

Supreme Being



Son of God

When I recite rote prayers

I am warmly wrapped up

in familiarity and tradition.

They unite me to generations,

to centuries of religious heritage,

which feels like home,

smells like coffee,

and tastes like pumpkin pie.

But praying rote prayers

is like pledging allegiance to the flag.

I’m reciting the formal text of my people,

which is layered with meaning

and has its place in my life,

but these are not the intimate heart-to-heart words

I want to use in a deeply personal conversation.

I want a love relationship with you.

I know you are beyond my understanding,

but I also know that I have experienced

moments of oneness with your:

formless goodness,

mystical otherness,

patient, abiding, intelligent, Spirit.

This writing my prayers idea may work out.

I just noticed that I used the

words “you” or “your”

twelve times while trying to

figure out how to relate to you properly.

So for now,

the name I seem to have

for you is… “YOU.”

This reminds me of a song

that’s been stuck in my head all week,

and, as you well know,

was made popular by the great Nina Simone:

*Birds flying high

YOU know how I feel.

Sun in the sky

YOU know how I feel.

Breeze driftin’ by

YOU know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life for me.

And I’m feelin’ good.

*Feeling Good, Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse

From: The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd

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