Once I thought that God has
A home near the clouds, full of glory—
Like a king has a castle in a children’s story.
With diamond bricks and gold the castle was made,
The base of its towers, ivory and crystal laid.
I thought that You sit on Your throne with pride.
While the Moon, a tiny glimmer on Your robe, rides.
The pattern of Your robe, the moonbeams draw.
A small jewel in Your crown, every star I saw.
Our sun was no more than a button on Your vest.
The sky, a small part of Your coat, so I guessed.
But no one has seen where You live or rest.
I thought that You did not want us to know.
I was so sad for this image of God here below.
My thoughts in prayer were out of fear, it’s true—
Of what a very angry God might do.
Prayer was like memorizing a lesson in school,
Reviewing geometry or math, without any rules.
Prayer was the punishment of a principal, who
Wanted answers to questions no one knew,
Or told you to form tenses of verbs no one used.
Then one night with my father, hand in hand,
We walked down a village road in our land.
There we saw a welcoming home.
I asked without waiting, “Whose is it, do you know?”
“It is God’s noble house,” my father replied.
“We can stay here awhile and pray inside.
We can pray here in quiet, beyond the sight of men,
We can make ourselves fresh and clean again.
We will talk with our conscience and learn what to do.”
“But does that angry God have a home here too?!”
To my question my father replied,
“Yes, God’s home is in our hearts, it is inside.
God’s house is covered with carpet soft and bright.
God is a mirror in our hearts full of light.
God is forgiving and hatred does not know. . .”
And suddenly I knew my love for this God would grow.
This familiar and kind God is mine, and will be—
A friend closer than myself to me.
Close to me as my very own life.
A good and an honored Friend
In Whom I delight.